Field Hockey Falls in Season Opener, 3-2

St. Davids, PA (9/1/09) – Seniors Justine DiPaolo (Lanoka Harbor, NJ / Lacey Township) and Megan Pietrunti (Middletown, NJ / Red Bank Catholic) each scored once, but Eastern University tallied twice in the final 29 minutes for a 3-2 victory over the Red Hawks in the season opener for both teams on Tuesday.

The game marked the fourth straight season that the two clubs played to a one-goal contest. Last season, MSU edged the Eagles, 2-1 in the second overtime at Sprague Field. Montclair leads the series between the teams, 6-3.

Montclair struck first off a penalty stroke as Pietrunti found the back of the cage for her first goal of the year with 7:09 to play in the first half as the Red Hawks held that advantage into halftime.

In the second half, Eastern knotted the game as Lindsay Moyer (Telford, PA / Christopher Dock) fed Christin Haas (Wilmington, DE / Wilmington Christian) for the tying goal 6:11 into the period to make the score 1-1. But Montclair would need less than a minute to regain the lead. Deana Hagel (Fairfield, NJ / West Essex) found DiPaolo 24 seconds later as MSU regained the lead at 2-1.
Eastern would pull even again just over a minute later as the Eagles converted off one of their 15 penalty corners in the game. Moyer picked up her second assist of the game as she found Yvonne Herbster (Middleburg, PA / Midd-West) for her first goal of the season with 27:31 left in the second period.

The teams appeared headed for a third straight overtime game, but the Eagles ended that speculation 11:38 left in the game.  Kimberly Campbell (Malvern, PA / Great Valley) picked up the ball, found some open space and push the ball past the MSU goalkeeper Noell Gomez (Fairfield, NJ / West Essex) and into the lower left hand corner.

MSU would get two chances to tie the game late, but Laura Ressler (Media, PA / Delaware County Christian) made two saves two preserve the victory for the Eagles.

Ressler recorded eight saves on the afternoon for Eastern while Gomez, making her collegiate debut, had three saves for the Red Hawks.  Eastern held the advantage for shots in the game 13-12 and totaled 15 penalty corners to MSU’s 10.

Montclair State is back at Sprague Field for its 2009 home opener on Saturday, September 5 as the Red Hawks host a weekend set. MSU will take on Union College on Saturday and then face Rensselaer on Sunday, September 6. Both games are scheduled for 2:00 pm.