March 19, 2014

Rafferty, Stevens Upset No. 11 Montclair State

from press release

MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The Stevens Institute of Technology men's lacrosse team took down previously unbeaten and No. 10 Montclair State University, 10-7, on Wednesday evening at Sprague Field. Stevens ends a five-game losing streak with the victory and extends its winning edge over Montclair to six games dating back to 2010.

The Ducks (2-5) trailed Montclair (6-1) early in the first quarter, 2-0, after 3:14 burned off the clock, but responded with back-to-back goals from sophomores Michael Serrante (Bridgewater, N.J.) and Andrew Scrutchfield (Lewes, Del.) over the next four minutes to tie the ballgame. Montclair would win the ensuing faceoff and march right down the field to regain the lead, 3-2, eight seconds later. The Ducks answered immediately after a holding penalty on the Red Hawks to give junior Michael Maroon (Virginia Beach, Va.) a man-up score 14 seconds after the infraction to end the offense in the opening period.

The in-state foes continued to trade goals in the second quarter and went into halftime deadlocked at 6-6. Montclair struck first in the stanza after three minutes ticked away, only to be erased by an unassisted tally from sophomore Matt Ferentini (South Salem, N.Y.). The Red Hawks went back up by one at the 10:30 mark, but Maroon brought Stevens right back a minute later off a pass from Ferentini. Midway through the quarter, Montclair found the back of the net again to go up, 6-5. The advantage did not last long for the Red Hawks as Maroon scooped up a groundball after the faceoff and raced down the field and recorded his first half hat trick with 7:29 left before intermission.

Stevens grabbed its first lead of the contest, 7-6, on an off-balance shot from Scrutchfield with 10:35 remaining in the third period which resulted in the lone goal on either side in the quarter. The Ducks turned to their defense and solid goaltending from freshman Kevin Rafferty (Bay Shore, N.Y.) to keep Montclair off the board.

Rafferty made seven of his game-high 14 saves in the third quarter for his second win of the season. The freshman has stopped double-digit shots in five of seven outings this season and four straight.

Scrutchfield staked the Ducks to a two-goal edge, 8-6, just 2:01 into the final quarter of play, and Stevens continued to build on the lead with Maroon's fourth score of the showdown 46 seconds later which forced Montclair to call a timeout and regroup. After almost four minutes elapsed out of the timeout, Stevens struck again to take a four-score lead off a long shot from senior Charlie Cronin (Northampton, Mass.) which was assisted by Ferentini. Montclair finally broke its scoreless streak of almost 32 minutes (7:47 of the second quarter to 6:32 left in the fourth) to pull back to within a 10-7 deficit but could never get any closer.

Sophomore Jeff Wyckoff (Summit, N.J.) won 6-of-8 faceoffs, while classmate Brett Incollingo (Yardley, Pa.) prevailed on 6-of-13 attempts. Senior Tim Culloty (Mahwah, N.J.) led all players with nine groundballs.

The Ducks held Montclair to six goals below its season average and just one score in the second half. Montclair outshot Stevens, 53-34, but only put 21 shots on target.

Stevens also shutout the Red Hawks top goal scorer, Brett Mangan, who entered the contest with 19 tallies.

Up next for Stevens is Eastern Connecticut State University on March 25 at 4 p.m. The Ducks return to the De Baun Athletic Complex after four-straight road contests.

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