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College blogger: Mercy College’s Mateja returns home for tough loss to Chestnut Hill

Tuesday, 23rd March 2010

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, Posted 3/23/10

Editor’s Note: Freshman goalie Lauren Mateja (Upper Merion) is blogging regularly about her experiences on the first-year team at Mercy College (N.Y.). This week’s blogs feature her thoughts as she made a second homecoming against Chestnut Hill College on Saturday. The blog is courtesy of a partnership through Mercy College and

March 14, 2010

After the Bentley game, we knew we had to step it up. Looking back at the statistics and the game film revealed a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of our team. We set out for practice on Friday and Saturday with the intention of improving our strengths and eradicating our weaknesses.

This weekend was pretty up-and-down for me. After getting pumped up for a game against Wilmington University, Coach informed us that the game was postponed until the end of April. Every girl was kind of sad about the rain delay—we were all secretly excited to be taking a cozy coach bus instead of the college vans to a game!

Following Friday night’s practice, Courtney, Sarah, Briana (or, as we all call her: Bellu), our friend Morgan and I went to the Dobbs Ferry Diner for a hot breakfast meal. My French toast and chocolate milkshake proved to be an excellent choice for dinner. I had an incredible time with the four of them, but I’m still astounded that Bellu and Morgan never heard of water ice before!!

Earlier today, Dana, Steph, Jackee, Callie and I set off for Velocity Sports in Elmsford. Coach presented us with the opportunity to help teach some younger lacrosse players the sport, and we all excitedly agreed. Unfortunately, due to the weather, the girls were unable to make it, but we’re all definitely thrilled that it may become a reoccurring event over the next few weeks!

Also, since I didn’t really bring it up in previous entries, I’m ecstatic to be named the first ECC Goalkeeper of the Week! It’s awesome to be able to bring the first weekly honor to Mercy for the inaugural season, and it’s even better that it’s in the first edition. I hope there’s many more to come for not only myself but my teammates in the next few months as our season continues to unfold! 🙂

March 20, 2010

What an up-and-down week. Correction: what a nail-biting week.

On Wednesday, we faced Ramapo College of New Jersey. To start the game off, Marissa put the ball behind the Roadrunner’s goalie about three minutes in. From there, the game was completely back and forth—there were 5 ties and 3 lead changes during the game. This would turn out to be the toughest game we played yet.

Right before then, we saw our 4-goal lead diminish, and were now faced with a tie game. Off the following draw, Ramapo came up with the ball, charging down field for a goal0. From my standpoint, this was the worst possible situation: I did not want to be the one with the burden of a loss! Looking at that girl charging in from the center felt like looking down the barrel of a gun—if I missed the save, Ramapo would take a one-goal lead with 80 seconds left. As soon as the referee blew the whistle for a restart, I noticed that the girl began to aim for a bounce shot. Quickly, I dropped low and thankfully made the clutch save. Finding another Mercy player for the outlet, we took the ball down the field and settled the offense to wear down the clock.

With 40 seconds to go, Marissa fired a rocket into the back of the net, giving us a 1-goal lead. Off the last draw, Ramapo gained possession and threatened to score. Fortunately, our defense came up HUGE and stopped their momentum before they could enter the 12. After some bobbled passes and dropped balls, the clock expired and we came away with a close but giant win.

Yesterday, I made my second and last homecoming for the season. At 10:30AM, we hopped onto a coach bus to prepare for the ride down to Philadelphia. For the ride, we turned on “The Sandlot,” and girls on the bus could be heard quoting it. Mostly, everyone simply relaxed and started to mentally prepare for the game. After about three hours, we found our way to Plymouth Whitemarsh High School’s Victory Field, where the game was being hosted. I felt like I was in high school again; PWHS was one of my scholastic rivals. Playing once more on that field instilled a little bit of nostalgia, and so I got even more pumped about getting a win.

An hour after arriving, we got off the bus to begin warm-ups. Everyone certainly looked great, and was feeling great too. Following the line-up announcement and national anthem, we took the field looking for a fourth win. For the first time in our games, though, we lost the opening draw—and this proved to be fatal.

Like the Ramapo game, we traded goals back and forth with the Chestnut Hill Griffins. At halftime, we took a 3-goal lead, only to see Chestnut Hill tie the game at 12-12 with 11 minutes to go.
With 24 seconds left, a Chestnut Hill player took an uncontested shot on goal. I saw it heading upwards, so I mimicked her movement. Initially, the ball was painfully blocked by my left arm…but the momentum of the shot carried it into the goal. From there, the Griffins were able to win the concluding draw, and stall the offense to take the win.

As a team, we definitely now recognize that the sting of a one-goal loss is more painful than a blowout. It’s an absolutely terrible feeling to know that one little inch too late can decide a game. I’m upset and angry that I could only save 12 shots…I think if I were able to save just one more, the difference would’ve made the game.

Saddened by the loss, I departed ways with the team and began a long drive with my parents to Bucknell University. This weekend is the PIAA State Championship for swimming, and as I write this, my sister is currently awaiting the chance to swim in the B Finals for the 100-yard backstroke. I’m hoping she does fantastic to help ease the pain of a second loss a little bit.

This coming week, spring break, will definitely be used to fix the mistakes of the last two games.



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