Mendoza Kicks Men's Soccer Into NCAA Sectional Tournament; Red Hawks Edge Dickinson in 2OT, 2-1

Box Score

Montclair, NJ (11/13/11) – Sophomore midfielder Dan Mendoza (Hackensack, NJ) drilled a free kick from 20 yards out with 6:33 remaining in the second overtime as Montclair State advanced to the Sectional Tournament of the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Championship with a 2-1, second-round victory over Dickinson College at MSU Soccer Park on Sunday.

Mendoza scored both goals as the Red Hawks (17-3-3) move on to the Sectionals for the fourth time in the last six years. MSU will face Neumann College on Saturday, November 19 at a site and time to be determined on Monday, November 14. Neumann upset Messiah College, 1-0 in overtime. Amherst College and Stevens will join Montclair State in the Sectional. 

Freshman midfielder Nate Latshaw (Ephrata, PA) scored for the Red Devils, who end their season at 11-5-5. Dickinson was making its third appearance in the NCAA Tournament having gone during the 2007 and 2008 campaigns.

A fast-paced opening first half, both teams got excellent chances in the early going. Mendoza put forth a shot on goal that was saved by junior keeper Cody Hickok (Redding, CT). Moments later Shephard Waldenberger (Madison, VA) ran on to a long serve from the back and was able to get around MSU keeper Anthony Rogic (Boonton) and had a virtual open net. However, defender Jon Krzysik (Clifton, NJ) was able to knock the ball away keeping the game scoreless.

Three minutes after the Red Devils’ chance, Montclair’s Kevin Zalewski (Parsippany, NJ) fired a shot from the right wing that Hickok got a piece of. Despite the partial stop, the ball rolled toward the goal and clanked off the left post.

From that point, the game became a defensive battle until each team scored inside the final five minutes.

Montclair State struck first at Mike Rudden (Kearny, NJ) served a ball from the left side across the box to a streaking Mendoza, who one-timed shot back inside the far post for the goal as the Red Hawks led 1-0 with 5:12 remaining.

Down a goal, Dickinson answered with the equalizer 2:50 later. Bryan Gilmartin (Branchburg, NJ) served a ball deep into the box. Rogic tried to smother the ball but Latshaw was able to keep the ball alive and flicked an easy shot into the open net as the game was deadlocked at 1-1 into halftime.

The second half, provided much more of the same as both Rogic and Hickok made combined five saves through the first 28 minutes of the period. Hickok thwarted perhaps the best of those chances. Montclair served a long ball from the back toward the top of the box. Brian Cullen (Clementon, NJ) outmuscled a defender for the ball and moved in against Hickok, who made a reaction stop 16 yards off his line keeping the match tied.

In the 75th minute, Taylor Ferry (Wyndmoor, PA) came within inches of giving the Red Devils the lead as he ran on to a ball just outside the top of the box and blasted a shot that ricocheted hard off the right post.

With 1:33 to go, Rogic came up with a game-saving stop as he one-handed a header by Gilmartin over the crossbar as the game went into overtime.

Neither team would generate any offense in the first extra period, but Dickinson got two chances early in the second OT as Waldenberger and Javier Mena (San Salvador, El Salvador) both got off solid chances that went high over the net.

Two minutes later after Montclair pushed the possession back down the other end, the Red Devils were called for a handball just outside the top of the box. Mendoza stepped in a drilled a shot over the wall of defender and past a defenseless Hickok for the game-winning goal. It was Mendoza’s 16 of the season and third in as many days.

Rogic made four saves for Montclair State while Hickok had six for the Red Devils.

Dickinson outshot the Red Hawks 18-11 and had a 5-2 edge in corner kicks.