Field Hockey Rolls Past Gwynedd-Mercy in ECAC Tournament

Montclair, NJ (11/11/09) – Senior forward Justine DiPaolo (Lanoka Harbor, NJ / Lacey Township) and senior midfielder Melissa Buttray (Boonton, NJ / Boonton) each scored a pair of goals as second-seeded Montclair State scored twice inside the first five minutes and rolled to an 8-0 victory over No. 7 seed Gwynedd-Mercy College in the opening round of the ECAC Division III Mid-Atlantic Field Hockey Championship at Sprague Field on Wednesday evening.

Senior Annalisa Valerio (Norristown, PA / Kendrick Kennedy) and junior Deana Hagel (Fairfield, NJ / West Essex) each tallied a goal as the Red Hawks posted their fourth straight victory, improving to 13-6 on the season.

Montclair will now host the semifinals of the tournament on Saturday, November 14 at Sprague Field as MSU is the highest remaining seed left in the tournament. The Red Hawks earned that distinction after top-seeded Wilkes was upset by No. 8 seed Hartwick College, 2-1 in overtime. Montclair State will face Catholic University at 5:30 pm on Saturday with Hartwick taking on No. 4 seed Alvernia University in the second semifinal at 7:30 pm. Alvernia defeated No. 5 seed Wesley, 4-0 while sixth-seeded Catholic knocked off defending champion and No. 3 seed Kean, 3-1 in a rematch of last year’s championship contest.

Freshman goalkeeper Kate Eschbach (Penssburg, PA / Upper Perkiomen) made 10 saves for Gwynedd-Mercy, which completed the year at 11-9. The Griffins were making their first postseason appearance since a trip to the 1999 NCAA Division III Tournament.

The Red Hawks, who have now outscored their opponents 22-2 in the last four games, came out flying as Hagel collected her team-leading 15th goal 1:24 into the contest. Of the penalty corner, Jessica Murphy (West Long Branch, NJ / Shore Regional) fired a shot toward the left post. Hagel redirected the ball inside the goal as Montclair took a 1-0 lead.  DiPaolo would extend that lead 3:16 later as she pushed the ball inside the top of the circle on the left side before firing a shot past Eschbach for her ninth of the year.

Buttray made it 3-0 at the 18:58 mark with the first of her two tallies. Taking the ball on the right side, Buttray moved past two defenders to within five yards before putting a shot into the back of the cage for her sixth of the year. DiPaolo would collect her second goal at 26:55 and Valerio put back a rebound at 31:05 for a 5-0 lead before Kelly Montgomery (Ocean, NJ / Ocean Township) tipped in a shot for her third of the year as Montclair State led 6-0 at the half.

Buttray and Kate Norgard (Columbia, NJ / North Warren) accounted for the final two goals.

Goalkeepers Megan Bosland (Boonton, NJ / Boonton) and Noell Gomez (Fairfield, NJ / West Essex) each combined on the shutout, Montclair’s sixth of the year. Bosland had two first-half stops as MSU outshot the Griffins, 22-4 and had a 7-4 advantage in penalty corner.

Ali Gurko (Folsom, PA / Ridley) and Erin Gorenflo (Plymouth Meeting, PA/Plym-Whitemarsh) each had a defensive save for Gwynedd-Mercy.