Men's Soccer Tops USMMA in Season Opener

Montclair, NJ (9/1/09) – Junior Larry Geraghty (Cranford, NJ / St. Benedict’s Prep) and sophomore Sean Pauls (Denville, NJ / Morris Knolls) each tallied goals as No. 7 Montclair State knocked off the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, 3-1 in the 2009 season opener for both teams at MSU Soccer Park on Tuesday afternoon.

Senior goalkeeper Teddy Ritter (Belford, NJ / Middletown North) made three saves for the Red Hawks, who posted their 38th consecutive home victory with the win. Montclair is just two shy of Ohio Wesleyan’s NCAA Division III mark of 40 set from 1991-1993. MSU has not lost at either of its on-campus fields since a 4-2 loss to Richard Stockton in October 2005.

Freshman Kurt Olsen (Charlotte, NC / Providence Day) scored the lone goal of the Mariners (0-1), which got four saves from goalkeeper Gary Poulin (Hauppauge, NY / Hauppauge). Poulin was making his collegiate debut.

Montclair State leads the all-time series between the teams, 9-1-2, including the last three contests.

The Red Hawks would get on the board in at the nine-minute mark of the game as freshman Sean Tyree (Somerset, NJ / South Brunswick) took a corner kick from the left side. Tyree’s ball curled toward the net toward a defender who tried to clear the ball. But the attempt caromed the opposite way into the net for the goal and a 1-0 MSU advantage.

USMMA would bounce back from the misfortune and tied the game with 8:19 to play in the opening period. Off a free kick of its own, the Mariners’ Clint Foster (Mt. Pleasant, TX / Mt. Pleasant) served a ball into the box where it got onto the head of Olsen, who banged home the shot for his first collegiate score as the game was deadlocked.

The 1-1 tie would not last long as Geraghty was taken down inside the box with 1:18 remaining and was awarded a penalty kick. The junior would convert the opportunity as Montclair State led 2-1 at halftime.

In the second half, MSU would add an insurance goal. After Ritter made one of his three saves, he long kick was corralled by Pauls just outside the top of the box. Pauls made a quick move around the defender before firing a shot past a diving Poulin giving Montclair a two-goal advantage with 24:04 left in the contest.

The Mariners nearly trimmed that lead back to a goal as Kyle Kempinski (Milford, NJ / Delaware Valley Regional) scored with 13:07 left however the Mariners were whistled for an offside and the game remained at 3-1.

Montclair State held a 15-14 advantage in shots for the game with the Mariners collecting six corner kicks to the Red Hawks’ five.

Both teams return to action this weekend. Montclair State is in Bethlehem, PA on Friday, September 4 to take on Moravian College in a 3:00 pm kickoff. The Mariners are at the St. Joseph’s (LI) Tournament in Patchogue, NY where they face Plattsburgh State at 12:00 pm on Saturday, September 5.