Montclair, NJ (5/8/11) – A very long and emotional season for the Montclair State men’s lacrosse team will continue in the NCAA Tournament although the Red Hawks’ trip for its first round game will be a short one as it will go 15 miles east to Hoboken to face fifth-ranked Stevens in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship on Wednesday, May 11.
Game time at DeBaun Field will be determined on Monday. The winner of the game advances to meet Cortland in a second round contest on Saturday, May 14.
No strangers to each other, the Red Hawks and Ducks will square off for a second time this season. Steven recorded a 16-5 victory over MSU on March 24 in a game that took two days to be completed. The game was suspended in the first quarter due to a lightning and rainstorm that forced a delay of over an hour before being put on hold and completed the following evening. Jack Skeels (Roseland, NJ / West Essex) had two goals in the loss.
The Red Hawks earned their way into the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year via the automatic bid as Montclair captured the Skyline Conference for third time in as many seasons with a 9-7 win at Farmingdale State, 9-7. Junior attack Tyler Meth (Basking Ridge, NJ / Ridge) scored three goals and was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament for the second time in three seasons.
The Skyline title capped off an amazing mid-season turnaround for Montclair State, which had been playing with heavy hearts throughout the year following the loss of head coach John Greco, who passed away at age 33 in November. Montclair began the year at 3-6 following a 9-6 loss to the same Farmingdale State team on April 6. Since then, MSU has reeled off seven consecutive victories to improve to 10-6 overall.
While MSU earned its way in on the automatic bid, the Ducks were an at-large selection. Stevens (15-2) fell to Nazareth in the semifinals of the Empire 8 Tournament on May 6.
Montclair State holds a 16-14 advantage in the series, however the Ducks have had the upper hand of late winning 10 of the last 11 contests, including this year. Last season, the Red Hawks snapped a nine-game losing streak to Stevens (then ranked No. 15) with an 8-5 victory at home – Montclair’s first since the 2000 campaign.
It will also be the fifth time the two squads have faced off in postseason action with Stevens winning the previous four. The Ducks defeated Montclair in the 2004 and 2005 Knickerbocker Conference Championship Games and then knocked off MSU in the opening round of the 2006 Knickerbocker Tournament. The last meeting saw Stevens beat Montclair State in the championship game of the 2007 ECAC Metro Championship Game, 17-6. All four games were played in Hoboken.