Montclair, NJ (9/1/10) – Sophomore forward Rachel Senyszyn (Succasunna, NJ /Roxbury) had a goal and two assists and freshman forward Allison Wacker (Stockholm, NJ/Wallkill Valley Regional) added a pair of goals with an assist to lead Montclair State University to a 4-2 home victory over St. John Fisher College in the 2010 opener at MSU Soccer Field at Pittser Field on Wednesday.
MSU (1-0-0), which earned just its second win in its last nine season openers (2-6-1), gave first-year coach Pat Naughter his first collegiate triumph. Naughter, who coached at Northern Highlands Regional High School the last three seasons, was named the fifth coach in the history of the program when he took over for Eileen Blair, who stepped down after 12 seasons with the Red Hawks in May.
St. John Fisher (0-1-0) opened the game’s scoring on its first shot on goal as sophomore defender Amanda Konieczny (Melrose, NY / Tamarac) beat Red Hawks goalie Marisa Zayac (Jackson, NJ/Jackson Memorial) with a blast from the top of the box into the lower corner of the goal.
Montclair State responded with three unanswered goals during a 26 and a half minute span of the first half. Wacker tied the game at 1-1 with a goal at the 13:32 mark. Senior midfielder Jackie McGrath (Vernon, NJ/Vernon) had her shot from the left wing stopped by freshman goalie Jessica Plukas (Rochester, NY / Irondequoit), but she managed to pass the rebound over to Wacker, who converted the equalizer into an open net.
Senyszyn, who missed last season with an injury, then set up the Red Hawks next two scores. An All-Conference performer who led MSU in goals and points scored in 2008, Senyszyn first passed to senior midfielder Katie Minervini(Oceanport, NJ/Shore Regional) for a goal from the top of the box and then assisted Wacker, who scored from five yards out on a shot which trickled off the goalie and into the crease for her second score of the game.
St. John Fisher applied some pressure towards the end of the half, making good use of their three shots in the period. The Cardinals cut the margin to 3-2 with just eight seconds left before halftime as sophomore midfielder Vicki Alfieri (Webster, NY / Webster Schroeder) scored from 25 yards. St. John Fisher also came close when a shot by sophomore midfielder Katlyn Perotti (Syracuse, NY / Solvay) was cleared by senior defender Katie Hazard (Clementon, NJ / Highland Regional) on the goal line.
Montclair State, which outshot St. John Fisher 13-6 in the game, got the only tally in the second half when a beautiful lead pass by Wacker gave Senzyn a breakaway which she converted with a shot from the top of the box.
The Red Hawks will travel to Virginia for contests against Virginia Wesleyan and Christopher Newport in the Orthopaedic Associates of Virginia Classic on Friday (Sept. 3) and Saturday (Sept. 4) before returning home to play Stevens on Sept. 8. St. John Fisher is home over the weekend as they host Bard College in the opening round of its own Fisher Tournament.