Montclair, NJ (9/23/09) – Senior midfielder Joseph Cullen (Clementon, NJ / Highland Regional) scored 31 seconds into the second overtime as 17th-ranked Montclair State tied the NCAA All-Divisions record for consecutive home victories with a 1-0 triumph over Rutgers-Newark in NJAC action at MSU Soccer Park on Wednesday afternoon.
The Red Hawks, who remained unbeaten 7-0-1 (2-0 NJAC) matched Ohio Wesleyan’s mark of 40 set from 1991-1993. MSU has not lost at either of its on-campus fields (MSU Soccer Park or Sprague Field) since a 4-2 loss to Richard Stockton in October 2005. Tulsa holds the Division I record at 39 from 1988 to 1992 while Cal State (L.A.) won 32 straight from 1982-1986 to claim the Division II record.
Junior goalkeeper Matt Zielyk (West Orange, NJ / Seton Hall) made four saves for the Scarlet Raiders, who fell to 4-3-2 overall, 0-2 in the conference.
Needing one win to tie Ohio Wesleyan's mark, the Red Hawks got all they could handle from the Scarlet Raiders, who actually outshot Montclair State 12-11 in the contest. Montclair held a 7-6 edge in shots in the first half including three in the first 15 minutes however Zielyk kept all three our of the back of the net. Rutgers-Newark got two of its own but Teddy Ritter (Belford, NJ / Middletown North) saved each of those.
Montclair did get on final chance to breakthrough before halftime but Sean Pauls' (Denville, NJ / Morris Knolls) attempt with 2:32 to play hit the post. The second half would see the Scarlet Raiders get a bit of bad luck as Ronald Quiroz (Fairview, NJ / Cliffside Park) fired a shot that clanked off the crossbar and the game remained scoreless.
Shots would become scarce over the final 45 minutes with each taking three as the two entered their fifth combined overtime contest.
In the first extra period, Rutgers-Newark got the only three offensive opportunities. Marin Gjoca (Nutley, NJ / Nutley) was denied by Ritter 6:05 in and attempts by Tom King (Cherry Hill, NJ / Cherry Hill East) and Innocent Buule (West New York, NJ / Memorial) were also stopped as the contest went into a second overtime period.
That second OT session would not last long. Gaining the quick possession, Coron Short (Dayton, NJ / South Brunswick) played a ball to Mike Pytlar (Califon, NJ / West Morris) at the top-right side of the box. Pytlar headed the ball across to Cullen, who then banged home the shot inside the far right post for the game-winner. It was Cullen's third goal of the season, all of them game-winning.
Ritter finished with six saves for Montclair State, which out corner kicked the Scarlet Raiders, 11-5.
Both teams return to action on Saturday, September 26 with NJAC contests. Montclair State heads down to Ewing, NJ to face The College of New Jersey at 6:00 pm in Lions Stadium. Rutgers-Newark is home at Alumni Field where they will host New Jersey City beginning at 7:00 pm.