Montclair, NJ (10/26/09) – Four years and a day. It was October 25, 2005 when fourth-ranked Montclair State began its NCAA record for consecutive home victories. Four years and a day later, that streak came to an end as the Red Hawks played to a 1-1 double-overtime time with local rival William Paterson on Monday evening at Sprague Field.
Montclair’s Coron Short (Dayton, NJ / South Brunswick) scored the lone goal for MSU, which remained unbeaten at 15-0-2 on the season, 7-0-1 in the NJAC. The tie not only turned the winning streak into an unbeaten streak but it also snapped the Red Hawks’ string of NJAC regular-season wins at 18 as well as a run of 23 consecutive triumphs against conference foes that included NJAC and NCAA Tournaments.
Julian Valerio (Manalapan, NJ / Manalapan) scored for William Paterson (7-4-6), which had the distinction of breaking Montclair State’s streak, however in order to finish among the top six teams in the conference standings and qualify for the NJAC Tournament, the Pioneers will need to defeat Richard Stockton in the regular-season finale Wednesday, Oct. 28, at home at 7:00 p.m., and will need Rutgers-Camden to lose to Rowan and Ramapo to lose or tie at Kean.
William Paterson tied both Rutgers-Camden and Ramapo during the regular season, and would own the tiebreaker thanks to the tie at MSU.
Tonight’s contest was a makeup from Saturday evening when the game was suspended in the first half and postponed after a delay of nearly 90 minutes due to lightning and heavy rain. William Paterson held a 1-0 lead at the time of the stoppage on Saturday as Ambrogio Pipitone (Paramus, NJ / Paramus) scored 1:44 into the game. That goal would be wiped out as the game was replayed from the start on Monday.
The Pioneers would again jump out to a 1-0 lead however this time in was Pipitone setting up the goal as he fed Valerio for the first tally of the game at the 37:02 mark. But that lead would be short-lived as Montclair State responded with a goal just over five minutes later. Thomas Benack (Sparta, NJ / Lenape Valley) made a perfect crossing pass for a corner kick to Short, who banged in the shot for his third tally of the year as the teams were deadlocked at 1-1.
Montclair State outshot William Paterson 14-3 in the opening 45 minutes and kept up that pressure in the second half with a 12-6 advantage. Despite its sizeable lead in the shots column, MSU would not get another ball by Pioneer goalkeeper Dan Pergallo (North Brunswick, NJ / North Brunswick), who made eight of his 12 saves in the second half.
But the biggest save of the game came from the Pioneer defense in the closing seconds. Montclair’s Joe Cullen (Clementon, NJ / Highland) put forth a shot with 50 seconds left that was knocked away by a defender forcing overtime. It was the second time in the game that WP came up with a backline save.
Montclair State would manage the only offense in the overtime periods as the Red Hawks collected all three shots.
Senior Teddy Ritter (Belford, NJ / Middletown North) made three saves for MSU, which also held a 12-7 advantage in corner kicks.
Both teams close out their regular-seasons on Wednesday, October 28. Montclair State travels to Jersey City, NJ for a 4:00 pm matchup with New Jersey City University.