Field Hockey Falls Short Against No. 12 Cortland, 3-2

Montclair, NJ (11/01/08) – Senior forward Sam Sephler (Sag Harbor, NY / Pierson) and junior Christine McCabe (Greene, NY / Greene) each had a goal and an assist as 12 th-ranked Cortland jumped out to a three-goal lead at halftime and then held on for a 3-2 victory over Montclair State in NCAA Division III field hockey action at Sprague Field on Saturday afternoon.

Senior goalkeeper Stacey Billings (Marathon, NY / Marathon) posted eight saves while Kylie Burghardt (Lisle, NY / Whitney Point) made three defensive saves as the Red Dragons extended their winning streak to 13 and improved to 15-1 overall this season.

Junior Megan Walsh ( Lumberton, NJ / Rancocas Valley) scored both goals for Montclair State, which fell to 9-7 on the season.

The Red Dragons struck for their first goal of the contest at the 22:48 mark of the first half. McCabe fired a shot from the top of the circle toward the left post where Sephler tipped in the attempt for her second goal of the season. Just under five minutes later (28:22) it was McCabe’s turn as she blasted a shot from seven yards out on the right side that glanced off an MSU defender and into the cage. It was McCabe’s fifth tally.

Cortland would make it three goals in a 5:34 span as Sephler sent a long pass down the field to Chambers, who moved in all alone on a breakaway before smacking a shot into the middle of the cage for a 3-0 advantage with 6:38 to go before halftime.

Montclair State would get its chances in the first half, however Billings came up with five saves in the first 35 minutes with Burghardt preventing a near goal by Montclair at 30:44. Walsh got a shot off from down low on the left side past Billings, but Burghardt was able to get a stick on it at the goal line to keep the Red Hawks off the scoreboard.

In the second half, the Red Hawks got on the board early. Melissa Flaherty (Fishkill, NY / John Jay) put a shot on goal that Billings would knock away however the ball bounced right out to Walsh, who tucked in the rebound cutting the deficit to 3-1 just under five minutes in.

MSU nearly got another goal four minutes later but Burghardt came up big again with her second defensive save. Montclair keeper Emina Udrjia ( West Paterson, NJ / Passaic Valley) made two saves of her own to keep the contest at a two-goal margin and Billips also had two as the game remained 3-1 until 8:38 left.

Off a penalty corner, one of 20 by the Red Hawks, Jenna Gallo ( Voorhees, NJ / Eastern) ripped shot from the right side. Again, Burghardt was there to make the defensive save. But this time, Walsh was there to clean up the rebound for her seventh of the year to make the score 3-2. That would be as close as the Red Hawks would get.

Udrjia had five saves for MSU, which outshot the Red Dragons, 15-10. MSU had 20 corners to Cortland’s nine.

Montclair State returns to action on Monday, November 3 as they travel to Mahwah to face Ramapo College in a rescheduled NJAC contest from Tuesday. The Red Hawks and roadrunners will square off at 3:30 pm. Cortland continues its trip through the Garden State on Sunday as they take on The College of New Jersey in Ewing at 1:00 pm.