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Montclair State Athletics | November 5, 2013

Montclair State, Misericordia advance to conference finals

Montclair, N.J. -- Sophomore Martina Landeka and junior Kaila Fasano scored on each side the halftime break as No. 5 and top-seeded Montclair State blanked fourth-seeded Stockton 2-0 in the semifinals of the NJAC championship at MSU Soccer Park on Tuesday evening.

The Red Hawks (18-0), the defending conference champion, will host No. 21 and third-seeded TCNJ on Friday at MSU Soccer Park. The Lions (16-2-1) knocked off second-seeded Rowan 1-0 in Glassboro to set up the fifth championship game showdown between the two schools.

The winner of the game on Friday receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III championship, which gets underway next week.

Montclair State, which set a new single-season record for victories on Tuesday, defeated TCNJ 1-0 on Sept. 28 on a goal by Shawna Grabowski in the second half. MSU broke the previous mark of 17 win set by the 2000 squad.

Senior goalkeeper Sarah Hinkle made six saves for Stockton on Tuesday, which fell to 15-7 with its second loss to the Red Hawks in 10 days. Montclair beat the Ospreys 3-0 in Galloway on Oct. 26.

Montclair State got on the board in the 14th minute as Fasano headed a ball that hit the crossbar. The rebound bounced around and found its way to Landeka, who headed in the loose ball for her fifth of the season and a 1-0 MSU lead. The goal was the first by MSU in the NJAC tournament since 2008.

Meanwhile, the MSU defense, ranked atop Division III in goals allowed and shutout percentage, smothered the Ospreys' offense and did not allow a shot, the fifth time this season the Montclair has not allowed a shot in a game.

Fasano added the insurance goal at the 70:41 mark of the second half taking a top of the box feed from Erin Sullivan and depositing it inside the left post for her eighth of the season.

Junior Gina Policastro, the NJAC goalkeeper of the year, registered her 11th shutout of the season as the Red Hawks registered their 16th of the year. Policastro currently leads Division III in that category.

Friday's championship game will mark the eighth time that the Lions and Red Hawks will meet in the NJAC tournament including the aforementioned four title contests. MSU is 0-5-2 in those games losing in the championship games in Ewing in 2002 and 2006 and at home in 2003. The two played to a scoreless draw in the 2004 championship game with MSU claiming the NJAC crown in penalty kicks 3-1.

No. 10 Misericordia 5, FDU-Florham 0

DALLAS, Pa. -- Megan Mahoney factored in all five goals and Emily Esposito scored twice as Misericordia advanced to the Freedom Conference championship match with a 5-0 win against FDU-Florham on Tuesday night at Mangelsdorf Field.

Mahoney showed why she was named Freedom Conference offensive player of the year with two goals and three assists to set a new school single-season assists (16) record and tied the single-season points mark (46).

Meghan Antrim added a goal and an assist for the Cougars as they advanced to the Freedom title match for the third consecutive season. MU, 17-2-1, will host King's on Saturday at 5:00.

After two solid scoring chances, the Cougars got on the board at 29:21 when Mahoney fed Esposito on a run down the middle and Esposito beat FDU keeper Annie George and slotted the ball home for a 1-0 lead. Nearly 10 minutes later, Mahoney raced down the left sideline and served a ball to the middle where Meghan Antrim settled it at the top of the box before burying a shot inside the left post for a 2-0 lead at 38:37.

Midway through the second half, Mahoney dribbled through the defense and found Esposito on the left edge of the box where she slotted a ball past a sliding George inside the left post for a 3-0 lead at 66:38. Antrim ripped a shot off the crossbar and Mahoney tapped in the rebound for a 4-0 lead at 81:06. Three minutes later Megan Lannigan played a ball to Mahoney who rolled a ball across the box inside the right post for a 5-0 lead.

Misericordia held a 21-8 advantage in shots and had a 4-1 edge in corners.