Montclair, NJ (11/15/09) – A fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division III Sectional Tournament will not happen for Montclair State this season as the Red Hawks were stunned by Stevens, 4-0 in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament at MSU Soccer Park on Sunday.
The Ducks, the NCAA runner-up a year ago, handed MSU its first home loss in over four years as the Red Hawks fell behind 2-0 in the first six minutes and were never able to recover. Montclair State, which received a first-round bye, ended its season at 17-2-2 after suffering its first home loss since October 12, 2005 - a 4-2 setback at the hands of Richard Stockton. Since then MSU had gone unbeaten at home for a span of 45 contests, including an NCAA Men's Soccer record 43 straight victories.
But Stevens jumped on top early as Terrance Johnson scored just 3:11 into the contest. Johnson was able to squeeze a header inside the right post and under Montclair goalkeeper Teddy Ritter (Belford, NJ/ Middletown North) for his 11th goal of the season. Freshman Zach Adler chased down a long pass from senior Chris Faustino in the left corner. Adler held off the defender, made several moves and lofted a high-arching cross from left to right across the goal. Both Johnson and senior Todd Sheridan were there and Johnson was able to direct it just inside the right post for the tally.
Before Montclair even had the first goal on the scoreboard, Stevens pushed its lead to two. Johnson had the ball deep in the penalty box on the right side of the end line. The senior lifted his head and made a pass back out to the top-middle of the box and found Adler wide open. Adler took his time, lined up his shot, and buried it in the lower-right corner. The goal came at the 5:56 mark and was his seventh of the season.
Montclair settled in after the second Stevens goal and was able to gain quality possession and generate several strong chances off corners, but junior goalkeeper Zach Carr made several excellent saves and the Red Hawks could not find the back of the net.
Johnson and Empire 8 Player of the Year Nolan Sandberg put the game out of reach in the 65th minute on a quick-hitting counter. After several MSU attempts, Sandberg tracked down the loose ball 10 yards outside of the Duck penalty area, and lofted a perfect pass to Johnson who was streaking down the middle of the field. Johnson then beat the keeper to the long ball and chipped it up and over for the goal. It was his team-high 12th score of the season.
Stevens added some extra insurance at the 73:09 mark. Freshman Victor Daza had the ball on the left side of the Montclair penalty box. The rookie held off his defender, and tapped out to Sheridan who was sprinting in from his outside midfield position. Sheridan controlled, made two moves to his right toward the middle, and then snuck a low tracer just inside the left post from 20 yards out for his fifth goal of the season and second of the NCAA’s.
Ritter finished with one save in the game before being replaced by senior Tyler Stakiwicz (Delran, NJ / Delran), who also made one save.