Field Hockey Falls to No. 9 TCNJ in Penalty Strokes

Montclair, NJ (10/2/09) - It took not one overtime, not two overtime periods but three and even then the game was extended, however Montclair State came up short in its upset bid of No. 9 The College of New Jersey as the Red Hawks fell 2-1 following two rounds of penalty strokes at Sprague Field on Friday evening.

MSU bidding for just its eight win against the Lions in series history, fell to 6-4 on the season, 0-2 in the NJAC with the loss. TCNJ extended its NJAC winning streak to 20 games as the Lions are now 6-1 overall, 2-0 in the conference - both wins coming in penalty strokes.

Sophomore Alex Okuniewicz (Toms River, NJ/Toms River South) scored an even 13 minutes into the game to give TCNJ a 1-0 halftime lead, but that would be all the Lions would get the of the way as MSU outshot New Jersey 11-7 over the final 65 minutes of play.

Meanwhile the Red Hawks tied the game 4:07 into the second half as Devin McNamara (Mount Royal, NJ / Gloucester Catholic) picked the perfect opportunity for her first career goal scoring on a penalty stroke as Montclair knotted the game at 1-1.

The penalty stroke proved to be prophetic as the teams headed to strokes after neither came up with the game-winner during the 30 minutes of 7-on-7 action.

TCNJ would go up 2-0 in the strokes after the first two rounds, however Montclair would get back even as McNamara and Rebecca Dobiesz (Old Bridge, NJ / Old Bridge) each scored. TCNJ would miss on their final attempt leaving the door open for the Red Hawks but goalkeeper Shannon Syciarz (Garwood, NJ/Arthur L. Johnson) came up with a save to force a second round of strokes.

The Lions' Kellyn Riley scored on the first attempts and after three missed, Mary Waller put TCNJ up 2-0. MSU failed on its third opportunity and Jillian Nealon closed out game as she converted to give TCNJ the victory.

Goalkeeper Megan Bosland (Boonton, NJ / Boonton) made seven saves for MSU, which outshot TCNJ 16-10 in the game. Noell Gomez (Fairfield, NJ / West Essex) had four saves during the penalty strokes.

The Red Hawks are off until Wednesday, October 7 when the travel to New Paltz, NY to face SUNY-New Paltz at 4:00 pm.