Nov. 11, 2010

Courtesy of Montclair State Athletics

Montclair, NJ —
Senior forward Larry Geraghty (Cranford, NJ / St. Benedicts Prep) tallied once and assisted on another goal as Montclair State scored three times in the second half to knock off Maritime College, 3-0 in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Mens Soccer Championship at Sprague Field on Thursday evening.

Freshman Matt Slattery (Newtown, CT / Newtown) and senior Coron Short (Dayton, NJ / South Brunswick) each collected a goal as the Red Hawks improved to 14-4-3 on the season. Next up for MSU, making its 11th appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament, is seven-time overall and two-time defending national champion Messiah College, ranked No. 3 and No. 1 in the NSCAA and polls, respectively.

The Red Hawks and Falcons will square off in the second round on Sunday, November 14 at Anderson Field in Grantham, PA beginning at 6:00 pm. It will be the third time in four years that Montclair and Messiah will meet in the NCAA Tournament. Messiah topped MSU 1-0 in the Sectional Final in Grantham in 2007 and then handed Montclair its only loss of the season in the 2008 tournament, a 1-0 double-overtime defeat in the Sectional Semifinal at Christopher Newport University.

Senior goalkeeper Harris Papson (Flushing, NY / Francis Lewis) made10 saves for Maritime College, which ended its season at 13-9-1. The Privateers were making their first appearance in the tournament, the first by any program in school history. Maritime earned its way into the NCAAs by capturing the Skyline Conferences automatic bid.

The Red Hawks dominated from the outset, posting a 17-1 margin in shots through the first 45 minutes. Yet despite its advantage, Montclair was unable to find the back of the net. Sean Pauls (Denville, NJ / Morris Knolls) ripped a shot that banged off the crossbar in the fifth minute. Papson would keep the Red Hawks off the scoreboard with nine saves in the first half and got some help from his defense as Will OConnors (Wyckoff, NJ / Ramapo) shot was kicked away off the goal line by a defender at 19:20.

In the second half, Montclair would finally put the first goal on the scoreboard. Jose Roque (Rahway, NJ / Rahway) outplayed a defender for a ball in the Maritime end before finding Dan Mendoza (Hackensack, NJ / Hackensack) in the middle of the field. Mendoza dribbled to within 15 yards before sliding a pass to the left wing to Slattery, who then ripped a shot into the upper right corner for his second goal of the season and a 1-0 Montclair lead at 47:18.

Montclair State would strike again 10 minutes later. After hitting two crossbars, Pauls collected a loose ball in front of the net and tapped it over to the right side where Geraghty scissor-kicked the ball in from five yards out as the Red Hawks increased their margin to two goals with 32:44 remaining.

Maritime nearly answered immediately with the second of its three shots in the contest. Ryan Nugent (Carmel, NY / Kennedy Catholic) put forth a bicycle attempt from 15 yards out that Anthony Rogic (Boonton, NJ / Morris Catholic) punched over the crossbar for his only save of the game.

Short got the final goal, his fifth of the year. Off a corner kick, Geraghty served a ball to the near post. Short came streaking across and one-timed the ball off the crossbar and in for the goal at 67:27.

Rogic recorded his eighth shutout of the season and the Red Hawks 10th.

Montclair State also held a 16-2 advantage in corner kicks.