No. 10 Field Hockey Turns It On in Second Half to Beat Alvernia, 4-2

Box Score

Montclair, NJ (10/1/11) – Junior midfielder Michelle Hagel (Fairfield, NJ / West Essex) scored a pair of goals, including one during  three-goal run in the second half as 10th-ranked Montclair State remained unbeaten with a 4-2 victory over Alvernia University at Sprague Field on Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore Jennifer Tafro (Little Falls, NJ / Passaic Valley) and senior Devin McNamara (Mount Royal, NJ / Gloucester Catholic) each had goals during the second half as the Red Hawks erased a one-goal halftime deficit to improve to 11-0 on the season.

Junior Lauren Guido (Fleetwood, PA / Fleetwood) and senior Sam Landis (Watsontown, PA / Warrior Run) each had a goal for the Crusaders (7-3), who had their four-game winning streak snapped. Junior Erin Solley (Reading, PA/ Oley Valley) collected a pair of assists and had a defensive save.

In a fast-paced opening nine minutes, Hagel gave Montclair State a quick 1-0 lead as she scored at the 4:48 mark off a pass in front from Brittany Carroll (Kingston, NY / Rondout Valley).

But the Crusaders bounced back with two goals 2:54 apart. Guido tied the game at 6:12, her third of the year. Off a penalty corner, Solley inserted the ball along the circle 10 yards out. Guido then flipped a shot high in the air that landed just out of the reach of MSU keeper Megan Bosland (Boonton, NJ / Boonton). Landis then gave the Crusaders the lead as her blast from the top of the circle off another corner found the back of the cage giving Alvernia a 2-1 lead it would maintain through halftime.

In the second half, Montclair State turned up the pressure both on the offensive and defensive ends as the Red Hawks held the Crusaders to just two shots while playing 13 minutes shorthanded, including two minutes with two players down due to yellow card infractions.

Tafro knotted the game up 3:06 into the second half as she moved in along the left side and banged in her own rebounds after Erin Wunsch (West Lawn, PA / Wilson) stopped the initial shot.

Montclair nearly took the lead six minutes later as Wunsch stopped a shot by Carroll. The ball came right back to Carroll who fired again only to be denied by Solley, who swept the ball away on the goal line keeping the game at 2-2.

Later in the period, the Red Hawks would take the lead. After a save by Wunsch and defensive save by Taylor Eichelberger (Lancaster, PA / Penn Manor), Hagel was able to knock in her own rebound for her second of the game and sixth of the season with 16 minutes left. MSU needed just 49 seconds to extend the lead as Chelsea Keelen (Tinton Falls, NJ / Middletown South) fed McNamara at the top of the circle. McNamara blasted a shot inside the left post for her eighth goal of the year as Montclair led 4-2 with 15:11 to play.

Alvernia tried to take advantage of its power-play opportunity as it was awarded a penalty corner four minutes after the McNamara score. Solley inserted the ball to Guido, who tried again with her looping shot from the left side. This time however, Bosland read the play and punched away the attempt, preserving MSU’s two-goal lead.

Bosland finished with two saves for Montclair State while Wunsch posted 10 for Alvernia.

Montclair State outshot the Crusaders, 23-6 with Alvernia holding a 9-7 advantage in corners.

Both teams return to action on Wednesday, October 5 with home contests. Montclair State hosts Stevens at Sprague Field beginning at 7:00 pm while Alvernia takes on King’s at 4:00 pm.