Fall Athletic Highlights

All-NJAC soccer team member Rachel Senyszyn (left) and All-American football player Chris D’Andrea.

The Red Hawk field hockey team put together the finest season in its history as Montclair State finished 19-3 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship Tournament. Led by NJAC Coach of the Year Beth Gottung, the Red Hawks began the year with 14 consecutive victories and reached the championship game of the inaugural NJAC Tournament falling to eventual national champion TCNJ. Montclair State earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament and knocked off Rhodes College (TN) in double-overtime 3-2 in the first round before falling to Salisbury University in the second round. Montclair State placed four players on the All-NJAC Team—Brittany Carroll (Kingston, NY), Chelsea Keelen (Tinton Falls, NJ), Jennifer Tafro (Little Falls, NJ), and Megan Bosland (Boonton, NJ). Keelen, Carroll and Bosland were also named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-Region squad.

Ranked nationally throughout the season, the Red Hawks football team finished 8-2 overall, which included the first game played in a driving snowstorm as Montclair plowed through Western Connecticut, 38-7 during Homecoming in October. A total of 18 players were selected to the All-NJAC Team, including seniors Chad Faulcon (Cranford, NJ) and Dan Keegan (Fairfield, NJ), who were named Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Year, respectively.

Women’s soccer posted a 13-5-2 mark and reached the semifinals of the NJAC Tournament. The 13 victories were the third-highest single-season total in program history and the most since 2006. Montclair State was ranked for several weeks in both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and NCAA Regional Polls. The Red Hawks also placed six players on the All-NJAC Team, including senior Rachel Senyszyn, who earned her third career All-Conference honor.

Volleyball qualified for the NJAC Tournament for the sixth consecutive year and 19th time overall. Under first-year head coach Eddie Stawinski, the Red Hawks had three players selected to the All-NJAC Team, including sophomore Kaitlyn Irwin (Cranford, NJ), who was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Junior Alyssa Batiste (Manahawkin, NJ) and freshman Daniella Salemo (Ramsey, NJ) also landed spots on the All-Conference Team.

All-Americans

Seniors Chris D’Andrea (Union, NJ), Chelsea Keelen (Little Falls, NJ), and Kevin Brown (Wayne, NJ) finished off their careers in fine fashion as they were named All-America.

D’Andrea became the 12th player in football history to be selected to the prestigious American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III All-America Team. He led the nation in rushing yards during the regular season with a school record 1,583 yards as he shattered the previous mark which had stood for 30 years. D’Andrea also scored 16 touchdowns during 2011 and led the NJAC in four different categories.

Keelen is the eighth field hockey player in program history to be named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III All-America Team. Keelen anchored one of the top defensive units in the nation as the Red Hawks allowed just 28 goals this season and 185 shots, an average of 8.4 per contest. The Red Hawks rank 20th in Division III in goals against average (1.24). Keelen also added two goals and an assist offensively.

Brown, who helped the men’s soccer team to its first Final Four appearance, was selected Third-Team by the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA). Brown anchored one of nation’s top defenses as the Red Hawks finished second in the NJAC and 38th overall in Division III in goals against average allowing 20 goals in 26 games (0.75 GAA) while posting an NJAC-leading 12 shutouts. Brown also contributed offensively as well with two goals, none bigger than his goal with 16:12 remaining against Stevens in the Sectional Final at Amherst that punched Montclair State’s ticket to the Final Four.

1987 Baseball National Championship Team to Be Honored in April

Twenty-five years ago, Leroy Horn hit “The Shot Heard Round Montclair.” In 1987, Montclair State reached the pinnacle of Division III baseball winning the NCAA Division III national championship in dramatic fashion. Down a run in the bottom of the tenth inning, Horn blasted a two-run homer giving Montclair the first of its three NCAA titles. On Saturday, April 28, the Red Hawks will honor the team in between games of its doubleheader against The College of New Jersey at Yogi Berra Stadium. The first game is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Visit montclairathletics.com for more details.

Montclair State to Host NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship

The NCAA will bring its Division III Women’s Lacrosse Championship Tournament to Montclair State in May. The national semifinals will be held at Sprague Field on May 19-20. Montclair State will also serve as the host for the Division II and Division III championships in 2013. The 2012 event will mark the second time that an NCAA national championship will take place at the University. In 2009, Montclair State hosted the Division III Softball Championship at the MSU Softball Stadium. Visit montclairathletics.com for more details and ticket information.