Montclair State vs. Us Merchant Marine
April 27, 2005
The Game Story:
Montclair, NJ (04/27/05) – Junior attack John Della Pesca scored six goals, including the final two of a five-goal run, as No. 2 seed Montclair State rallied for a 13-11 victory over No. 3 seed Kings Point in the semifinals of the Knickerbocker Conference Tournament at Sprague Field on Wednesday evening. MSU now advances to the championship game on Saturday, April 30, where they will face top-seeded Stevens in Hoboken at 4:00 pm.

Sophomore attack Jim Flannery put the visiting Mariners up, 11-8, with 12:17 left on his second goal of the game, but host MSU rallied with five goals over the next 8:37 to defeat Kings Point for the second time in a week. Junior midfielder Dave Armstrong started the comeback at 9:46, and senior attack Kevin Gondres pulled the Red Hawks within one on a man-up goal with 8:15 remaining in regulation before senior midfielder Brian Fischer tied the game exactly three minutes later. Della Pesca then fired home the game-winner with 3:15 left before adding an insurance goal with 69 seconds remaining to cap his six-goal, seven-point night.

MSU held a 3-2 lead after one quarter and a 6-5 advantage at halftime before being outscored, 5-2, in the third period. The Red Hawks outshot the Mariners, 59-37, including 19-3 in the final 15 minutes, and connected on 4-of-7 man-up opportunities with Kings Point scoring once in six man-advantage chances.

Armstrong finished with two goals and two assists for MSU, while freshman attack Bryan Klimchak tallied a goal and two assists and freshman goalkeeper Thomas Bowers made 16 saves, including seven stops in the first quarter alone. Sophomore attack Sean Dougherty paced Kings Point offensively with four goals and two assists, while Flannery finished with two goals and three assists and freshman attack Ian Callery scored three goals. Mariners’ sophomore goalkeeper John Pagano collected 19 saves.

MSU, which won at Kings Point, 11-7, in a conference game just a week ago tonight, will now travel on Saturday afternoon to face #1 seeded Stevens Tech for the KLC title. Stevens, currently ranked seventh in NCAA Division III, advanced by defeating fourth-seeded Richard Stockton College earlier today, 27-3. The Ducks also topped Montclair State, 23-9, in last year’s conference championship game in Hoboken.