The Mules held the Red Hawks without a goal for the last three quarters – a shutout string of 48:10 – and came from behind for their sixth consecutive win while the loss dropped Montclair to 9-4 on the season.
After a pregame ceremony in which the nine Muhlenberg seniors honored, Montclair (9-4) tried to spoil the party, scoring a goal just 2:07 into the game as Passafiume connected, then adding another one 18 seconds later by Taylor Bonner (Old Bridge, NJ / Old Bridge). A second goal by Passafiume at the 9:24 mark made it 3-0.
The Red Hawks made the score 4-1 on a man-up goal by John Schiavone (Montclair, NJ / Montclair) with 3:11 left in the first quarter, and there were no more breakdowns after that. After taking 14 shots in the opening period, Montclair managed just 10 in the next two. The visitors took 10 shots in the four quarter, but six of those were in the last two minutes when the outcome was not in doubt.
The lockdown was led by starting longsticks John DeLuca and sophomores Matthew Schroeder and Ivan Brown and also included strong efforts from defensive middies like seniors Tim Dwyre, Tim Martin and Josh Mosberg.
Still, Muhlenberg (8-4) did not take over the game until late in the third quarter, as the offense took a while to get in gear. Shut out in the second quarter, the Mules broke their own scoring drought when senior Kyle Farris converted a pass from senior Mickey Norton for a man-up goal with 8:07 left in the third.
About two-and-a-half minutes later, Farris tied the game with another goal, his school-record 30th of the season. Doug Cornwell set the previous mark of 29 in 1974.
Sophomore Sean Delany gave Muhlenberg its first lead with an unassisted goal from a tough angle to the right side of the cage with 3:06 left in the third.
DeLuca ended a burst down the field by beating the Hawk goalie with a ground shot early in the fourth, and goals by juniors Nick Fletcher and Andrew Lolley 25 seconds apart completed the game-ending 6-0 run. Lolley’s goal was his third of the game.
MSU goalkeeper Thomas Bowers ( Hamburg, NJ / Pope John XXIII) made 15 saves for the Red Hawks, who were outshot in the game, 35-34.
Montclair State returns to action on Monday, April 21 as the Red Hawks host Mt. St. Vincent at Sprague Field in a Skyline Conference matchup. A win by MSU would clinch the league’s regular-season crown and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament which gets underway on Wednesday, April 30.