BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Sophomores Ally Dowd (Williamstown) and Rachel Geissler (Franklin Twp.) each scored goals while the Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) defense performed flawlessly as the Lady Roadrunners captured the NJCAA Region XIX women’s soccer championship by blanking Ocean County College 2-0 on Sunday.
The triumph gave coach Megan Ruttler’s team an automatic berth In the NJCAA national tournament, which starts November 10 at Ocean County College. Seedings and pairings in the 8-team tournament will be announced later this week.
“We’ve had some tough games recently, but we told the team that they had the tools and the experience to win this, and they went out and executed their plays,” Ruttler said. “The effort today was outstanding, especially the way the players had to make adjustments well into the game.”
Ocean County applied plenty of pressure offensively in the first half, controlling play deep into RCGC territory throughout the half. Then, the momentum suddenly shifted.
Dowd scored the game’s first goal at the 35-minute mark of the first half when she burst through several defenders and blasted the ball past Ocean County goalkeeper Kayla Froberg.
“Once we were able to take a lead, it changed the momentum,” said Dowd. “I feel like everything shifted in our favor once we established some offense.”
Geissler extended the lead in the second half with a solid 25-foot blast past Froberg for a 2-0 advantage. The Roadrunners held on from there to improve their overall record to 11-6 this season.
Ally Dowd was selected as the Tournament Final’s Offensive MVP while RCGC’s Liz Shendock (Hammonton) was chosen as the Defensive MVP.
“We had to make some adjustments on defense because Ocean County put a lot of pressure on us offensively,” Shendock said. “We’re proud of the way our defense played and we feel we have a lot of momentum going into the national tournament.”