Montclair State Buries Richard Stockton
from press release
MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Sophomore attack Don Finn (Wall, NJ, Christian Brothers Academy) scored five times and picked up two assists as top-seeded and 13th-ranked Montclair State rolled in the championship game of the Skyline Conference Tournament with an 18-7 victory over fourth-seeded Richard Stockton at a water-logged Sprague Field on Wednesday.
Senior attack Sam Morrissey (Hackettstown, NJ, West Morris Central) and sophomore Brett Mangan (Maplewood, NJ, Columbia) combined for five goals and five assists as the five-time defending league champion Red Hawks won their ninth straight and tied the single-season record for victories with their 15th win. MSU (15-1) tied the mar set in 1989 and equaled in 2010.
Montclair will face either second-seeded Kean University or third-seeded Farmingdale State in the championship game at home on Saturday, May 3 at 1:00 pm. It will be the seventh straight year that MSU has advanced to the finals.
Senior midfielder Cal Sebor (Freehold, NJ / Freehold Township) had three goals for Richard Stockton, which fell to 12-5 on the season. It was the Ospreys second loss to MSU this season as it also fell 17-2 on April 2.
The Red Hawks took an early 1-0 lead at Morrissey scored off a feed from Michael Schreck (Flemington, NJ, Hunterdon Central) 64 seconds into the contest. Sebor answered for Stockton three minutes later with an unassisted tally however Finn began a run of five goals by MSU closing out the period as Montclair State led 6-1. Five different players scored in the run, including Mangan, who netted the final goal of the period with 37 seconds remaining. Mangan finished with two goals and three assists.
Finn scored twice early in the second extending the lead for MSU however a late second-period goal by Alex Epifano (Marlton, NJ / Cherokee) and goal by Max Becker (Oak Ridge, NJ / Jefferson) 31 seconds into the third pulled the Ospreys within 8-3. Mangan quelled the brief run with his second goal but scores by Sebor and Vinny Gencarelli (Rockaway, NJ / Morris Hills) pulled the Ospreys within 9-5 with 6:01 left in the third period.
Montclair would counter with an eight-goal run over the next 15 minutes to put the game away. Finn scored twice with faceoff man Brad Pietrucha (Bridgewater, NJ, Bridgewater-Raritan) and defender Blake Vernam (Ringoes, NJ, Hunterdon Central) each collecting a goal giving the Red Hawks a 17-5 lead 5:21 left.
Pietrucha had an outstanding day at the "X" for Montclair State winning 21-of-24 attempts, finishing two wins shy of the MSU single-games record. He also recorded 11 ground balls which tied Ken Bogert's single-game mark set against Merchant Marine Academy in 2012.
Senior goalkeeper Michael Dorn (Blairstown, NJ, North Warren) made five saves for MSU while defenders Len Bellezza (Plainsboro, NJ, West Windsor-Plainsboro South) and Ryan Young (Jackson, NJ, Jackson Memorial) totaled three and two caused turnovers, respectively. Mangan added six ground balls with Schreck, who had two assists, getting five.
Freshman goalkeeper Eric Leonard (Mount Laurel, NJ / Lenape) had 13 saves for Richard Stockton, which got two ground balls and two caused turnovers from Becker.
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