Jersey City, NJ (10/29/08) – Montclair State University broke open a 2-0 game with four goals in the final 20:28 of regulation, including a hat trick from junior forward Liza Offreda (East Rutherford, NJ/Midland Park), as the Red Hawks defeated New Jersey City University, 6-0, in the New Jersey Athletic Conference finale for both schools on Wednesday at the Robert L. McNulty Memorial Soccer Field.
game was contested under unseasonably cold and overcast skies, and made
even more challenging with a bitter wind chill blowing in off of
MSU evens its record at 9-9-1 overall and 5-3-1 in the NJAC. The victory locked up a first-round home game in the conference tournament for the Red Hawks, who will face Kean University on Saturday, November 1 at Sprague Field. It will be the second straight year the two will meet as Montclair recorded a 3-2 come-from-behind win last season.
Today's game was the first time this season an outcome of an MSU game has been decided by more than two goals while the six goals were a season high and the most since scoring 10 on October 14, 2006. NJCU falls to 8-10 overall and 0-9 in the NJAC.
MSU junior keeper Leah Tepperman (
In defeat, NJCU sophomore striker Jennifer Albuja (
MSU sophomore midfielder Katie Minervini (Oceanport, NJ/Shore Regional), senior defender Angela Martone (Toms River, NJ/Toms River South) and sophomore forward Christyn Scillieri (Wayne, NJ/Wayne Valley) all scored single goals for a 3-0 lead. Freshman midfielder Rachel Senyszyn (
MSU scored what proved to be the game-winner at 12:08 of the first half as Senyszyn, who recorded her third assist of the season, lofted a cross from the left endline onto the right post, where Minervini redirected the ball home for a 1-0 lead from one yard out. It was her third goal of the season and all three have been game winners.
MSU, which outshot the Knights in the first half, 13-5, built a 2-0 halftime lead at 23:07 when Martone aired out a corner kick from the left endline which hit a defensive player in the box and curved in, for her third goal of the year.
The Hawks added what appeared to be an insurance goal nearly 25 minutes into the second half when Scillieri gathered a loose ball on the right wing and fired home the short blast at 69:32 for her first tally of the season.
NJCU sophomore goalkeeper Kelly Reilly (Pennsville, NJ/Pennsville Memorial) who had been injured on a previous play but stayed in the game, left after the third goal with an injury, but not before making seven saves while cutting off numerous dangerous crosses.
Junior keeper Danielle Barker (East Brunswick, NJ/East Brunswick) was forced to enter the game on a cold day without a warm-up, and Offreda capitalized with three goals over the final 12:31 of the game—her second, third and fourth of the year.
Offreda’s first goal came at 77:29 as she dribbled past several defenders on the right wing and ripped a shot on a sharp angle from 15 yards out.
Some confusion surrounded Offreda’s second goal at 87:14. The assistant reference originally whistled offsides, but that call was reversed. Offreda
had taken a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and down. While it
didn’t travel into the net, the referee ruled it crossed the line for a
goal. Just 1:26 later, Offreda capped the scoring (88:40) when she put back the rebound of a saved shot by Sisti, who received the assist.
MSU outshot NJCU overall, 31-14. Barker made one save in 20:28 of reserve action. Junior midfielder/defender Jessica Irizarry (