Montclair State vs. Kean
April 8, 2009
The Game Story:
Montclair, NJ (4/8/09) Ė Junior midfielder Taylor Bonner (Old Bridge, NJ / Old Bridge) scored a pair of goals, including a key unassisted tally late in the fourth quarter as Montclair State slipped past Kean University, 6-4 in a rematch of last yearís Skyline Conference championship game at Sprague Field on Wednesday evening.

Sophomore midfielder Robert Sinicola (North Caldwell, NJ / West Essex) added two goals and an assist as the Red Hawks (7-4) gained a small measure of revenge against the Cougars while improving to 2-0 in the Skyline Conference this season. Last year, Kean scored the final three goals, including the game-winner with 57 seconds left as it rallied for an 8-7 win to capture the league title and earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

Anthony Bertucci (Edison, NJ / Edison), C.J. Gannon (Morris Plains, NJ / Seton Hall Prep), Andrew Rau (Fair Lawn, NJ / Fair Lawn) and Josh Morales (Clifton, NJ / Clifton) each scored a goal for the Cougars, who dropped their second straight and fell to 7-5 overall, 0-2 in the Skyline.

The Cougars led 1-0 after the first and 2-1 at halftime before Montclair tied the game 21 seconds into the second half. Sinicola collected his first goal off an assist from Tyler Meth (Basking Ridge, NJ / Ridge). The game would remain tied until the closing seconds of the period when Mario Passafiume (Boonton, NJ / Mountain Lakes) found Matthew Prongay (Edison, NJ / Edison) in front of the net for the goal and a 3-2 Red Hawks lead heading into the fourth.

Sinicola would strike again with 12:51 left as he scored unassisted and then fed Meth for a man-up goal 43 seconds later as Montclair State led 5-2 with 12:08 to go. Kean would cut the lead to two as Rau scored on a near breakaway with 10:43 to go as the deficit was trimmed to 5-3. Gannon connected with 4:31 remaining as Kean looked as if it would duplicate its finish from nearly a year ago.

Kean would win the ensuing faceoff and take possession, however Anthony Dzienkiewicz (Jackson, NJ / Jackson Memorial) knocked the ball away from an attacker and MSUís Douglas Kennedy (Rumson, NJ / Rumson-Fair Haven) scooped up the loose ball. Kennedy made a perfect long pass to Bonner along the near sideline to clear the zone. Bonner kept going and raced toward the right post before firing a shot that went over the left shoulder of John Gesumaria (Cranford, NJ / Cranford) for what turned out to be the final goal of the contest.

Morales scored the lone goal of the first period as Kean led 1-0. Bertucci extended the lead to 2-0 59 seconds into the second with an unassisted goal, but Montclair halved the lead as Bonner scored 57 seconds later off an assist from Tyler Meixner (Hamburg, NJ / Vernon).

Goalkeeper Thomas Bowers (Hamburg, NJ / Pope John XXIII) made nine saves for Montclair State, which limited Kean to just seven shots over the final 30 minutes. Dzienkiewicz had three ground balls and four caused turnovers while fellow defenseman Patrick Ferry (Clifton, NJ / Clifton) had four ground balls and two caused turnovers. Sophomore Robert Glander (Vernon, NJ / Vernon) was 3-for-5 on faceoffs and registered five ground balls.

Gesumaria had a game-high 11 saves for Kean. Rau was 7-of-12 on faceoffs with four ground balls while Brian MacConnell (West Islip, NY / West Islip) and Gesumaria each recorded three ground balls.