The Red Hawks (9-6) stand atop the Skyline Conference with a 5-0 record and appear headed for the conference semifinals after a last minute 10-8 win at Farmingdale State (11-4) on April 26. The win marks the fifth in a row for Montclair State and puts them well on their way to winning their eighth conference title in a row.
Montclair State jumped out to a 6-2 lead by halftime, giving them a strong hold on the game, having scored five unanswered goals during the second quarter. But when the whistle blew after halftime, the Farmingdale Rams took control of the momentum and scored all six goals during the first 20 minutes of the second half, pulling out to an 8-6 lead over the Red Hawks.
After a fifth minute goal in the fourth quarter by Montclair State senior attacker Dylan Heningburg made it 8-7, the Red Hawks didn’t put another ball in the net for nearly three minutes. Senior attacker Brett Mangan then assisted both the game-tying and go-ahead goals scored by junior attacker Brady Wulster and senior midfielder Zach Schreck respectively, both within the last 40 seconds of the game. A literally last ditch goal scored by senior midfielder Ryan Totin put the final touch on the 10-8 win for Montclair State.
Schreck had the most prolific game, scoring two goals, while also throwing in three assists. Senior attacker Don Finn had a balanced game, contributing two goals and assists, along with Wulster’s assist and two goals.
Farmingdale had a strong scoring rate, putting in eight goals on just 17 shots, while Montclair State used their normal strategy to let the sticks fly, throwing up 47 total shots.
The Red Hawks also won 17 of the 20 total face-offs, a statistic that, if they can consistently win it, will help keep possession in their favor down the road against some of the best teams in the nation.
Penalties were kept to a relative minimum for both teams, although the turnover numbers were not as kind. Montclair State committed 23 turnovers – nearly a season-high. They did somewhat redeem themselves though by forcing 25 Rams’ turnovers, a strong sign their high risk-high reward play is paying dividends.
Continuing a formidable run of man-up goal conversions during their win streak, the Red Hawks added another two on six chances, making sure to take advantage of as many of the opportunities afforded to them as possible.
Montclair State’s upcoming home game against the SUNY Maritime College Privateers (7-6) at Sprague Field will be their last game before the conference semifinals begin on May 4.
The Privateers are coming off a recent 9-4 loss against Farmingdale, a sign that the Red Hawks fortunes against SUNY Maritime appear strong. If the Red Hawks pull out the win, they will own the lone undefeated Skyline record.
That night will not only close out the regular season for Montclair State, it will also be a time for the campus to bid farewell to outgoing players on Senior Day. The team’s most valuable contributors will be on their way out, including Finn, Mangan, Schreck, and senior midfielder Connor Cunningham. That group makes up four of the top five team leaders in points for this season.
Wulster is expected to be the main heir as one of the Red Hawks’ leaders next season. He has had a very successful junior campaign, scoring 28 goals, placing him second on the team in that category.