Field Hockey Downs Union in OT, 2-1

Montclair, NJ (9/5/09) – Senior forward Megan Pietrunti (Middletown, NJ / Red Bank Catholic) scored with 2:24 remaining in the first overtime period as Montclair State earned its first victory of the season with a 2-1 victory over Union College at Sprague Field on Saturday afternoon.

The victory squared MSU’s record at 1-1 on the year and also gave head coach Beth Gottung her 100th career victory at Montclair State. Gottung, the all-time winningest coach in program history, is now 100-38 in her eight seasons with the Red Hawks. Her first victory also came in OT as MSU edged Eastern University 1-0 on September 7, 2002 and she also  becomes the 26th coach in Montclair State athletic history to achieve 100 career wins.

Junior goalkeeper Sarah Rios (Queensbury, NY / Glens Falls) was outstanding in the loss for the Dutchwomen, who were playing their initial contest of 2009. Rios stopped 23 shots as she kept Union in the game despite being outshot 35-5.

The game marked just the second meeting between the teams - the first since 1988 when Union recorded a 2-1 win in the 1988 ECAC Mid-Atlantic Tournament.

The Dutchwomen did not get many opportunities however they did make the most of them. Union struck first in the contest at the 4:05 mark. Off a penalty corner, Union put a shot toward the cage that was blocked, but the ball bounced out to junior Tyler Willey (Stockton, NJ / The Hun School), who banged home the rebound giving the Dutchwomen a 1-0 lead.

Rios made that lead hold up for nearly the remainder of the period as she made 10 saves. MSU also missed an opportunity to tie as a penalty stroke with 6:31 left went wide.

The Red Hawks though would eventually find the back of the cage. Off one of its six first-half penalty corners, Deana Hagel (Fairfield, NJ / West Essex) made a perfect insert pass to the top of the circle to junior Diana Colombo  (Westampton, NJ / Rancocas Valley), who then blasted a shot into the left side for her first tally of the year.

That’s the way the game would stay until the first overtime period. Playing 7-on-7, Montclair got a majority of the chances as it put up 10 shots only to see Rios knock away seven of them. Union nearly had a chance as Kelsey Powers (Naples, MR/Lake Region) went 1-on-1 with MSU goalkeeper Megan Bosland (Boonton, NJ / Boonton) 4:15 into the extra period only to see Bosland knock away the attempted game-winner to keep the game knotted at 1-1.

Late in the period the Red Hawks got possession of the ball on the right side. Pietrunti made a move toward the goal and flipped in the game-winner past Rios giving Montclair State the victory and Gottung her milestone win.

Bosland, a freshman, made two saves as she played the final 47:36 of the game. Freshman Noell Gomez (Fairfield, NJ / West Essex) also had two saves in her first half work.

Montclair State is back in action tomorrow afternoon (September 6) as MSU hosts Rensselaer at Sprague Field beginning at 2:00 pm. Union returns home for a Wednesday, September 9 matchup (4:00 pm) with the Red Dragons of Oneonta State.