May 12, 2010

MONTCLAIR, N.J. - Senior midfielder Jonathan Prentice (Chelmsford, Mass.) scored the final three goals, including a back-breaking man-down tally with 2:42 to play, as Endicott College rallied past Montclair State, 8-6 in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship at Sprague Field in Montclair, N.J. on Wednesday evening. The tournament win is the Gulls' second in program history in the NCAA postseason, with the only other victory coming in 2005 against Keene State.

Junior attack Jack Curtis (Chelmsford, Mass.) added two goals and two assists as the Gulls improved to 14-7 with their sixth straight win. The victory also propelled Endicott into the second round where they will face Tufts University (16-1) on Saturday, May 15 in Medford, Mass.

So after making the 256-mile journey to New Jersey for its first-round contest, the Gulls, making their sixth appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament, will go just 22 for its next game as they take on the Jumbos for the second time this season. Endicott fell to Tufts, 14-9 in Medford back on April 20.

Senior attack Patrick Nann (Livingston, N.J.) scored a pair of goals for Montclair State, which had a pair of 14-game winning streaks snapped with the loss as the Red Hawks concluded the best season in program history at 15-4. Montclair, which was making its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, lost for the first time since March 12, an 11-10 overtime loss at Eastern Connecticut. MSU also suffered its first home loss since an 8-7 double-overtime setback against Drew University on April 1, 2008. The Red Hawks earned their way into the NCAA Tournament by winning its second straight Skyline Conference title, downing Kean University, 12-8 on May 1.

In a game of runs, it was Prentice who got the final one for Endicott. After Montclair State had scored four straight to take a 6-5 lead early in the fourth quarter, Prentice answered back just over a minute later as he blistered a shot from the left side past Montclair State goalkeeper Andrew Rosado (Elmwood Park, N.J.) knotting the game with 12:29 to play. The Gulls won the ensuing face off and moved the ball around before Prentice - this time moving along the right side - bounced a shot over the shoulder of Rosado to give the Gulls the lead with 11:38 on the clock.

Each team had opportunities following that goal however Rosado and Endicott goalkeeper Eric Hagarty (Sudbury, Mass.) combined on five saves to keep the contest at a goal. Montclair State then got a break as Endicott was flagged for a penalty with 3:23 to go. But 15 seconds into the one-minute advantage, MSU turned the ball over as Kevin Downes (Cheshire, Conn.) forced the ball loose and picked up the ground ball with 3:04 left. Prentice then delivered his goal with 2:42 showing, his team-leading 39th of the season.

The Red Hawks scrambled in the final minutes getting off several shots however Hagarty came up with three saves and got a little help with 1:36 left as Matthew Prongay's (Edison, N.J.) shot hit the post. Hagarty collected two of those saves inside the final 44 seconds and capped off his 13-save performance, intercepting a pass in the final second.

Nann scored 58 seconds into the game to give Montclair a 1-0 lead however Endicott tallied the next three goals as Curtis scored twice, the second coming with 12:46 to play in the second quarter as the Gulls held a 4-2 halftime lead. Brian Estes' (Derry, N.H.) goal 56 second into the third period extended the lead to three, however Montclair countered with three goals to tie the game at 5-5. Mike Corsetto (Kinnelon, N.J.), Nann and Ryan Kloss (Flemington, N.J.) each had a goal in that run and Tyler Meth's (Basking Ridge, N.J) with 13:38 left in the fourth gave Montclair the 6-5 lead.

Rosado finished with 12 saves for Montclair State, which got seven faceoff wins and two ground balls from Marc Guido (North Caldwell, N.J.). Sam Ozycz (Cheshire, Conn.) won nine faceoffs for the Gulls, who outshot Montclair State, 48-32 in the game. Chris Gugino (West Hartford, Conn.) had a team-best five ground balls while Downes added three and two caused turnovers.

Neither team could capitalize on the man-advantage in the game as they went a combined 0-for-9 with Endicott failing on seven opportunities to Montclair's two.