Stevens Subdues Montclair Again, Jumbos Await
from press release
HOBOKEN, N.J. – The Stevens Institute of Technology men's lacrosse team will head to Medford, Mass. for a Second Round matchup with Tufts University in the NCAA Division III Championship after defeating Montclair State University, 13-11, in the opening round on Wednesday evening in Hoboken. Stevens is now 13-4 on the season and will attempt to avenge an 18-14 loss to Tufts on March 16.
In a contest nearly identical to the previous meeting on March 20, which Stevens won 12-11 against Montclair, this matchup went back-and-forth on the scoreboard after a lopsided opening 24 minutes.
The Ducks jumped out to a 5-1 advantage more than halfway into the second quarter after a 3-1 edge at the conclusion of the first period. Senior Rich Dupras (Hillsborough, N.J.) got things underway with an unassisted goal halfway into the first quarter for his first of three goals in a four-point night. Almost four minutes later, sophomore Michael Maroon (Virginia Beach, Va.) put the Ducks up, 2-0, on a pass from freshman Connor O'Shea (Ridgewood, N.J.) with 4:49 remaining.
Montclair tallied its first goal of the showdown at the 3:04 mark only to be washed out by freshman Michael Ferentini (South Salem, N.Y.), who found the back of the net with just over one minute to play in the opening period.
With Stevens up, 3-1, heading into quarter number two, no offensive action took play over the first 8:06, but both teams turned it on and combined to record seven goals over the final 7:56 of the half. Senior Nicolas Philippi (Mullica Hill, N.J.) kicked off his hat trick night with the first goal of the frame before junior Charlie Cronin (Northampton, Mass.) staked the Ducks to their largest lead of the contest on a feed from Maroon at the 6:31 mark.
The Red Hawks stormed back with four consecutive goals in a four-minute span to knot the game up at 5-5 with less than two minutes until intermission. Jack Skeels had a part in three of the four tallies, while Sam Morrissey chipped in on two. Stevens broke the run and tie and went into halftime with a 6-5 lead after freshman Griffin Rock (Bay Shore, N.Y.) scored on the doorstep from Dupras with 1:14 still to burn off the clock.
Montclair came out of the locker room on a mission to take control of the game and scored three times in the first 3:04 of period three to take its only lead of the ballgame at 8-6. Kenneth Bogert scored one and assisted on another goal which was posted by Skeels, and Michael Jevic registered his second marker to cap off the run.
Philippi took it upon himself to bring the game back to a deadlock with consecutive unassisted goals to finish off his three-goal effort. His second score came with 10:25 to go, while his third beat the Montclair goalkeeper at the 6:52 mark. Senior Harrison Dorne (Morristown, N.J.) put the Ducks back up on top, 9-8, with a man-up goal two minutes later, but the Red Hawks would tie the contest back up one final time just 13 seconds later.
Cronin put Stevens back in control with 2:33 lingering in the third off a rebound shot in which he scooped up and scored. Cronin played a tremendous game at attack with three crucial groundballs, two caused turnovers and one assist.
As the fourth and final quarter ticked away, the Ducks jumped back out to a three-goal cushion on goals by Dorne and Dupras. Dorne wasted little time to post the first goal of the stanza off a pass from Maroon with 13:08 to play. Dupras lifted Stevens to a 12-9 edge after three-plus minutes ran off the clock as he capitalized on a pass from Cronin.
Montclair attempted to fight back with another goal by Bogert halfway into the fourth but the Ducks answered right back with Dupras' final goal of the game. Montclair's Bogert finished the game with 18 faceoffs won, 10 groundballs and four points.
There was not enough time left on the game clock for the Red Hawks to mount a comeback, but they tried with a man-up goal with 2:26 to go which was the final marker of the contest.
Defensively, two Ducks shined and played integrals parts in the team victory. Sophomores Brian Fahy (Eastchester, N.Y.) and Matthew Deiner (Millstone Twp., N.J.) posted breakout games. Fahy forced five turnovers and picked up four groundballs, while Deiner made 12 saves in cage, including seven in the second quarter, from his 12th victory of the season. Freshman Tim Fair (West Deptford, N.J.) also played a key role as a defender with four groundballs.
Stevens outshot Montclair, 48-34, but the Red Hawks won at the faceoff "X" (18 to 10) and in groundballs (46 to 30). The Ducks did, however, convert on 21-of-26 clears and took advantage of 25 Red Hawk turnovers.
Saturday's game time against Tufts is still to be determined. A conference call tomorrow morning will sort out all the details for the Regional semifinal matchup.
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