Montclair, NJ (11/2/11) – Sophomore midfielder Dan Mednoza (Hackensack, NJ /Hackensack)
scored both goals in the first 3:10 of the second half snapping a
scoreless game as second-seeded Montclair State moved into the
championship game of the New Jersey Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer
Tournament with a 2-0 victory over third-seeded William Paterson at MSU
Soccer Park on Wednesday.
Junior goalkeeper Anthony Rogic (Boonton, NJ / Morris Catholic) stopped six shots for his eighth shutout of the season as the Red Hawks (15-2-3) advanced to the conference title game for the fifth time in the last six years.
Montclair State will face either top-seeded Rutgers-Camden in Camden or host fourth-seeded Rowan in the championship game on Saturday, November 5. The winner of the NJAC Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, which begins next week.
MSU, which lost to Rutgers-Camden and tied Rowan this season, will be seeking their 10th NJAC championship overall and fifth in the last six seasons.
Senior Zach Collins (Bayville, NJ / Central Regional) had
three saves for William Paterson, which fell to 13-4-3 on the year. The
Pioneers will be among the teams looking for an at-large bid for the
NCAA Tournament when the bids are announced on Monday, November 7.
Montclair State got the better of its local rival for the second time this year as the Red Hawks also bested the Pioneers, 3-0 at Sprague Field on September 21. Much like that game, the first 45 minutes went scoreless as MSU outshot William Paterson 8-5.
In the second half, Mendoza, who had a goal and assist in that earlier contest, snapped the tie 47 seconds into the period with his 12th goal of the season blasting a shot from 22 yards out into the middle of the goal giving the Red Hawks a 1-0 lead.
Mendoza would strike again 2:23 later as a foul down near the 18 gave Montclair State a free kick. Mendoza struck a perfect shot off the restart putting Montclair State up two goals with 31:50 to play in the second half.
William Paterson would get a chance to get a goal back in the 55th minute as Matt Lopuski (Montville, NJ / Montville) served a corner kick. Michael Encarnacion (Franklin, NJ / Passaic County Tech) put forth a shot on goal however Rogic was able to snare the attempt as Montclair maintained its 2-0 lead.
Rogic would come up with another save at 68:38 denying Naeem Boucher (Paterson, NJ / St. Benedict’s Prep) on a header. He came up with one more save on Omar Jallow (Union City, NJ / Union City) with 4:54 left.
The Red Hawks outshot the Pioneers, 14-12 while William Paterson had a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.