The loss proved to be a big one for Montclair State as the Red Hawks now enter the final conference contest on the outside-lookin-in in the NJAC Tournament picture. MSU is currently in seventh place with eight points, one point behind New Jersey City for the final playoff spot. Montclair is also two points ahead of Ramapo and Rutgers-Camden (7 points).
Both teams had chances during the opening 45 minutes, despite a 9-2 advantage in shots for the Pioneers. William Paterson sophomore Megan Droelle (Hampton, N.J./North Hunterdon) saw her strike knocked away by a diving Leah Tepperman (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) in the 27th minute, and Pioneer senior goalkeeper Meaghan Baker (Rockaway, N.J./Morris Knolls) charged off her line to snuff out a breakaway attempt by Natalia Sisti (Lincoln Park, N.J./DePaul) five minutes later.
Freshman Michelle Marabondo (Kenvil, N.J./Roxbury) was tripped up just inside the box with 3:03 on the clock, resulting in a penalty kick for the Pioneers. The current NJAC Defensive Player of the Week, junior Ali Ruddy (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Valley) converted to her left, breaking into the scoring column for William Paterson.
Ruddy added to her scoring total 8:32 into the second half, when she ripped a free kick nearly 40 yards into the opposite corner of the frame.
Baker came up big again midway through the second period, stopping successive shots by Stephanie Barbulescu (Franklin, N.J./Pope John XXIII) and Zoe Mandaro (Hawthorne, N.J./Hawthorne Christian), and knocked away a Sisti header with three minutes to play.
Baker finished with eight saves for William Paterson, and Tepperman had 11 stops for Montclair State.