Stevens Survives Test from Montclair State
from press release
HOBOKEN, N.J. – Eighth-ranked Stevens Institute of Technology advanced to the second round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship with a hard-fought 9-7 win over in-state rival Montclair State University on Wednesday night at the De Baun Athletic Complex. The Ducks will now head to Cortland, N.Y. to face the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons for a berth in the national quarterfinals. Stevens (16-2) was led by four points from senior midfielder Chris Laurita and three from junior attack Kevin Rose.
Like the teams' first meeting on March 23, the Ducks jumped on top early but that would be the only similarity as the Red Hawks (10-7) hung tough the whole way, never allowing Stevens to take more than a three-goal lead.
After Empire 8 Rookie of the Year Christian Saley put the Ducks up 1-0 1:39 into the action, junior attack Matthew Prongay (Edison, N.J.) pulled MSU even with an unassisted tally with 12:08 left in the first. Laurita answered with his first of the game with 6:17 remaining in the period, and sophomore midfielder Nicolas Philippi rang the bell with 55 seconds on the board to send the Ducks to the second with a 3-1 lead.
Montclair would outscore Stevens 2-1 in quarter number two with senior Robert Sinacola (North Caldwell, N.J.) scoring both Red Hawk goals and senior midfielder Brandon Faubert tallying Stevens' lone goal.
The Ducks would not score again for more than 14 minutes, which was enough time for the Red Hawks to tie the score. When Stevens did break its scoring drought, it was able to tally the game's next three goals to open up a 7-4 lead with 2:16 left in the third quarter. Junior Alex Hofrichter finished off a pretty look from Rose with 10:10 left in the third, and 1:45 later, Laurita found Rose. That same duo connected with 2:16 left in the period for the final score in the spurt.
Prongay was able to slow the Stevens momentum with his second with 84 seconds in the third, but Saley opened the fourth quarter scoring with an unassisted tally to push the lead back to three.
Junior Kevin Dyer (Flemington, N.J.) and Sinicola scored back-to-back goals to trim the margin to one with 11:14 on the clock but Laurita's second with 8:16 was enough and the Stevens defense did the rest.
Senior Eric Yando made 11 saves in strong effort in goal for the Ducks, while his counterpart, junior Mark Glander (Vernon, N.J.) accumulated seven saves.
The Stevens starting defensive unit of junior Matt Marks, senior Ted Pfeifer, and senior Zach McHugh were strong all night for the Ducks. McHugh had three caused turnovers and a ground ball, Marks had four caused turnovers and three ground balls, while Pfeifer had a team-high six ground balls. Junior Michael Steinhauser won 10-of-19 face-offs and had two ground balls, and senior Jacob Messimer had two caused turnovers and a ground ball.
Saley, Rose, Laurita, and Faubert all had multiple points and Phillippi added three ground balls to his one tally.
Sinicola had three goals and three assists for a game-high six points to lead the Red Hawks and Prongay had three points. Dyer had two points and senior Anthony Dzienkiewicz (Jackson, N.J.) caused five turnovers.
The Ducks ended the game with a 38-30 edge in shots and a 26-25 advantage in ground balls. Stevens won 11-of-20 face-offs.
The win is the Ducks' first in the NCAA Tournament since 2006 when they defeated Eastern Connecticut State University at the De Baun Athletic Complex on May 10. That season Stevens fell at Cortland in the second round.
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