Men's Soccer to Face Messiah in NCAA Sectional Tournament

Montclair, NJ (11/17/08) – The Montclair State men's soccer team is headed to Newport News, Virginia for the NCAA Sectional Tournament. The Red Hawks will face a familiar foe in Messiah College on Saturday, November 22 at Christopher Newport University's Captains Field. Game time is set for 1:00 pm.

Emory (GA) and Christopher Newport will meet in the other contest with the winners squaring off on Sunday, November 23 for a spot in the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championship Final Four in Greensboro, NC, December 5-6.

Montclair State, the only unbeaten and untied team in the nation, is in its ninth appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament and 12th trip overall. The Red Hawks are currently 21-0-0, setting a new school record as they broke the mark of 20 set two seasons ago. MSU appeared in three College Division Tournaments in 1968, 1969 and 1972. The three-straight appearances mark the first time since 1990, 1991 and 1992 seasons that the Red Hawks have made consecutive appearances in the national tournament. MSU is 5-7-1 all time in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

MSU reached the Sectional Tournament for the third straight season after defeating Westminster College, 1-0 in the second round on Sunday. Junior John Esposito (Hillside, NJ / Hillside) scored the lone goal with 19:58 remaining.

In Messiah, the Red Hawks face a team that they know all too well. The Falcons, who have captured five of the last eight NCAA Division III titles, handed Montclair its last loss, 1-0 in the Sectional Final on November 16, 2007 at Messiah.

Messiah (18-2-2) won twice over the weekend, defeating Medaille 2-1 in overtime in the first round. In that game, the Falcons scored on a penalty kick with 6:21 to tie the game and then got the game-winning goal 5;01 into the extra period. Messiah then defeated host Rochester, 1-0 in the second round to earn its trip to the Sectional Tournament.

It will be just the third meeting between MSU and Messiah as last year's contest was the first since 1991. The Falcons have won both games by the identical 1-0 margins.

The Red Hawks have never faced Emory for Christopher Newport.