Men's Soccer Beats Stockton in NJAC Tournament Opening Round, 3-1

Box Score

Montclair, NJ (10/30/10) – Senior forward Larry Geraghty (Cranford, NJ / St. Benedict’s Prep) scored once and assisted on another goal as fourth-seeded and four-time defending champion Montclair State knocked off fifth-seeded Richard Stockton, 3-1 in the opening round of the New Jersey Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Championship Tournament at Sprague Field on Saturday evening.

Junior Sean Pauls (Denville, NJ / Morris Knolls) and senior Coron Short (Dayton, NJ / South Brunswick) each had first-half goals for the Red Hawks (13-4-2), who now advance to the semifinals where they will face top-seeded The College of New Jersey on Tuesday, November 2 in Ewing. Earlier this season, Montclair posted a 5-1 victory against the Lions at MSU Soccer Park on September 25. 

The victory also snapped a two-game losing streak by Montclair and helped avenge a 2-1 overtime loss to the same Richard Stockton squad last week.

Senior forward Rafael Duarte (Ocean City, NJ / Ocean City) scored on a penalty kick for the Ospreys (14-5-2), who suffered their first loss since September 25. Stockton had been 10-0-2 in its last 12 contests since a 1-0 loss to William Paterson.

Montclair State outshot Stockton 20-8 in the contest, including 11-2 in the first half yet it was Stockton that nearly put the first goal into the back of the net as Brian Thomsen (Brick, NJ / Monsignor Donovan) fired a shot from 25 yards out that was deflected by an MSU defender at the goalline in the 22nd minute keeping the game scoreless. 

The Red Hawks eventually pushed the ball back down the other end of the field. Freshman Matt Slattery (Newtown, CT / Newtown) collected a ball 20 yards out along the left sideline. He then lofted a pass into the box over the head of two defenders to a streaking Pauls cutting across the field. Pauls was able to flick a header past goalkeeper Tim Brett (Palmyra, NJ / Palmyra) for his fifth of the season and a 1-0 MSU lead at 32:34.

Just under five minutes later, the lead was extended to 2-0 as Geraghty played a ball along the end line on the right side before sliding pass to Short at seven yards. Short then banged in the feel for his fourth goal of the year as Montclair State led 2-0 at the break. 

Montclair would maintain control early in the second half, but a foul inside the box at 63:31 gave Stockton a penalty kick. Duarte buried the kick inside the right post for his 14th goal of the year as the Ospreys trimmed the lead to 2-1. The goal would give Stockton new life and the Ospreys used it to nearly tie the game at 71:42 when Sal Pistone (Blackwood, NJ / Highland), who had the game-winner in the win over MSU last week, fired a shot that clanked off the post.

MSU would take the break and turn it into an insurance goal five minutes later. Dan Mendoza (Hackensack, NJ / Hackensack) played a ball along the right sideline and served a ball toward the box where an unmarked Geraghty came flying through from the left wing, flipping a header into the net for his fourth tally of the year.

The Red Hawks Anthony Rogic (Boonton, NJ / Morris Catholic) picked up his 14th win of the year as he made on saves. Brett stopped 10 shots for the Ospreys. MSU also held the edge in corner kicks, 10-8.