Men's Soccer Gets Past Eastern Connecticut to Extend Home Winning Streak

Montclair, NJ (10/4/09) – Junior forward Larry Geraghty (Cranford, NJ / St. Benedict’s Prep) scored 48 seconds into the second overtime period as 11th-ranked Montclair State extended its NCAA record home winning streak to 42 games with a 2-1 victory over Eastern Connecticut at MSU Soccer Park on Sunday afternoon.

Senior midfielder Joseph Cullen (Clementon, NJ / Highland Regional) had a goal for the Red Hawks, who remained unbeaten while upping their mark to 10-0-1 on the season. It is the second time in the last three home contests that Montclair has gone to double overtime for keep its winning streak alive. MSU set the new NCAA men’s soccer mark on Wednesday with a 2-0 triumph over Kean.

Sophomore forward Matt Furman (Montville, CT / Montville) scored the lone goal for the Warriors (6-3-1), who were looking to add another piece of history to their season. Earlier this week, ECSU knocked off Salem State, 3-0 – its first win over Salem State since 1971.

Coming off its record-setting win on Wednesday, the Red Hawks quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead 3:24 into the contest as Michael Cullen (Clementon, NJ / Highland) slipped a ball through the left side of the box to twin brother Joseph, who got around goalkeeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ / Notre Dame) before flipping shot into the back of the net for his fourth tally of the year. It was the third time this season that the Cullen’s have teamed up for an MSU goal.

But Eastern Connecticut hung around as they thwarted several Montclair State chances, including three saves by Appel before getting the equalizer. Looking to clear the ball out of its own end, the Warriors sent the ball back toward the box on the right side. Furman was able to wrestle the ball away from a defender before firing a shot inside the near post for his fourth of the season as Eastern tied the game at 20:22.

That’s the way the game would stay through the rest of that half plus the final 45 minutes of regulation as neither could find the go-ahead score. Montclair State outshot the Warriors 18-6 however several of MSU’s attempts went either wide or high of the net. Eastern’s Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA / Bedford) also came up with a huge backline save as he knocked away a Geraghty shot at the 66:05 mark.

In the first overtime, Appel came up with a save on Gerraghty’s attempt. Eastern then got a golden opportunity to win the game and Montclair’s streak as Maxim Fantl (West Hartford, CT / William H. Hall) got step ahead of two defenders and had a virtual 1-on-1 with MSU netminder Teddy Ritter (Belford, NJ / Middletown North). Ritter came off his line and made a sliding stop of Fantl’s shot just inside the top of the box and the game went into a second extra period.

After Eastern took the opening kick, MSU got possession and moved the ball down the field. Michael Cullen would get a pass at the top of the box and slid a ball through the left side where Geraghty picked it up and got around Appel before knocking in the game-winner. It was Geraghty’s fourth tally of the year.

Ritter finished with seven saves while Appel stopped eight shots for the Warriors.

Montclair State outshot Eastern Connecticut 29-14 and had an 11-5 advantage in corner kicks.

Both teams return to action with road contests. Montclair State is off until Saturday, October 10 when MSU travels to Camden, NJ for an NJAC matchup with Rutgers-Camden at 3:00 pm. Eastern Connecticut will look to bounce back as they are at Becker College on Tuesday, October 6 in a 4:00 pm kickoff.