Who’s hot and who’s not November
By: Mak Ojutiku
The regular season for all of Kean University’s Fall sports programs are just about finished. It’s been a long season for most of the teams. Here’s a look into how our teams have shaped up so far.
The Women’s Volleyball team have been playing some very important games in the past few weeks. Of their last seven games, four of them have been against NJAC teams. The tough stretch started off with a rough loss to Ramapo. The Cougars started off the game by winning two straight sets and seemed to be on their way to a shutout until Ramapo managed to win the third by a slim 26 to 24 margin. The Cougars lost the next two sets and the result gave them a 3-2 record in the NJAC.
The Cougar’s bounced back from the loss, going on a 4-game winning streak that included victories over Rutgers-Camden and New Jersey City University. During the win over New Jersey City, senior middle hitter Kaitlyn Hansen matched and then broke the school’s career service ace records with 249 aces. Hansen also holds the school’s records for career solo blocks and blocks assists.
The team is currently ranked third in NJAC with a 5-3 record and with four games remaining in the regular season, their overall record stands at 21-9.
For the women’s soccer team, the last stretch of the regular season was monumentally important. Out of the five final games of the season, four of them were against NJAC teams. The first outing of the stretch saw the Cougars go up against an undefeated Montclair State. Montclair, the number one ranked team in NJAC, were too much for the Cougars as they shut them out 3-0. Kean got off only three shots in the game. Their next game was a pivotal one against The College of New Jersey. Goalkeeper KC Nunez was tested often in the game. She ended up with 13 saves giving up only one goal in a game that ended in 1-1 draw.
The team finished its season on Oct. 30 with a 2-0 shutout over William Paterson. The win gave the team the number five seed in the NJAC tournament.
The season started off rough for Kean’s football team and it hasn’t gone much better. The team dropped a thrilling, but ultimately disappointing loss to William Paterson at their Homecoming game. The game was a defensive struggle until late in the first quarter when quarterback Robert Meade tossed a 51 yard pass to freshman receiver Tahj Hammary. The completion set up a field goal that gave the Cougars a 3-0 lead going into the first quarter. The team later scored again in the second quarter off of a 1-yard run by Meade. The touchdown gave Kean a 10-0 lead. Going into the last five minutes of the fourth quarter the Cougars were down by one point with a chance to win the game with a 17-yard field goal. The kick was blocked and the Cougars lost the heartbreakingly close game 21-20. The team lost its next game 17-7 against the College of Brockport, which brought its record down to 1-6.
Despite starting off their season with a strong 8-3 record, things have not been easy recently for the men’s soccer team. Since their dominating 4-0 victory over John Jay College, the team has been stuck in a rut. Coming off the win, the team hosted the 11-3 Rutgers-Newark. At the time of the match Rutger-Newark’s Raphael Araujo was leading the nation in goals with 18. He was held to only one goal and it proved to be the only goal for the Scarlet Raiders as the game ended in a tie. Kean’s sole goal came from Akwasi Adu who is currently leading the team in goals with seven.
Their next outing was against number 8 ranked Montclair State. Once again, the Cougars found themselves holding a talented team to a tie at the end of regulation. Unfortunately, Montclair’s Trey Leggett found the back of the net two minutes into the first overtime. That defeat was the catalyst for a 5-game losing streak. Four of those losses were against NJAC rivals. The streak went on until the last game of the season which was a 2-1 loss to William Paterson.
Coming into the month of October with a 3-5 record, things were already looking rough for the Women’s tennis team. The team though found some success in the middle of the month in the form of a 3-game winning streak. Wins over Baruch, John Jay and Hunter College gave the team a .500 overall record. The win that gave them their 6-6 record was a razor thin 5-4 decision over Hunter. The tie breaking match was a 4 set win by Senior Debra Dress. The team also found some fruition in Sophomore Brianna Martin, who won the last match of her consolation round against teammate Zenzile Liggins 8-2. The team finished their season with a 7-2 loss against Rutgers-Camden.
Although the Field Hockey team had been mowing down teams for the majority of the season, their last few weeks have been anything but easy. After having a match against St. Mary’s College of Maryland cancelled the team returned to action against formidable NJAC rival Stockton College. Both teams’ defenses put on good performances. The Cougars ended up with 10 saves while Stockton’s defense only gave up 6 shots. Stockton’s proved to be the better though when Stockton’s Cassie Kirk found the back of the net with one minute left in the first period. That goal handed Kean their second loss of the season giving them a 13-2 record.
The team’s usually stellar defense gave up nine goals in two games, with both of those games being conference play. The first loss came against 8-6 Rowan. Senior Korri Thompson scored the first goal of the match in just over a minute into the game. Rowan’s offense responded with four straight goals of their own. The next game was a shut out loss to Montclair State, which dropped their conference record to 2-4 and eliminated all hope of a NJAC title run.