Montclair State Men’s Lacrosse Looks to Shine at Upcoming Homestand

By Anthony Paradiso, Staff Writer

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Francesca Verrone running with the ball.                                         Photo Courtesy of Montclair Athletics

This year’s Montclair State men’s lacrosse team has started the 2017 season off 0-5. Still, the Red Hawks have time to set the ship right with a two-game homestand, starting March 18 at Sprague Field.

The men’s lacrosse team suffered its biggest loss on March 11, where the Red Hawks fell 13-4 to Denison University.

The Red Hawks came close to their first win at Ursinus College last weekend. They led 9-4 at one point, but could not stop a furious comeback from Ursinus.

After Ursinus scored six unanswered goals, Ryan Anzalone knotted the game up at 10. In each of the subsequent three overtime periods, the Red Hawks had the better play, but could not clear their zone as Ursinus scored the game-winner late in the third overtime period.

The Red Hawks have surrendered over 11 goals in each of their last three games, and have not played well defensively.

In 2017, Blasé Mantineo, a returning ‘X-factor’ who hails from Flemington, New Jersey, will look to reclaim his throne as the Skyline Conference’s top face-off specialist. The ‘X’ is the way real lacrosse players describe the face-off circle, or dot in other sports. Senior all-American face-off specialist Mantineo has been with the team since 2014. In 2016, he set a Montclair State record in face-off wins (298) and face-off winning percentage (.708), while playing in every game for the second consecutive season.

Mantineo has picked up where he left off last season, winning 20/25 face-offs against Stevens on March 1 and 21/26 at Ursinus on March 11.

Montclair has a proven veteran in the face-off ‘X,’ but has shown potential at other positions as well.

Sophomore Matt Haemmerle has scored three or more goals in two straight matches, including a five-goal performance against Ursinus. He has scored at least a point in his last four and the team will rely on the 6-4 attack man to continue scoring.

Senior attack Brady Wulster ended last year on a high note, notching three goals and one assist against Ithaca in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Wulster has eight goals through five games this year, and seems to be a big part of this Red Hawk attack.

The team will look to improve their defense in particular, which needs to be a step ahead of their stiff competition. The Red Hawks are still chasing their first win of the season. They will face off against Purchase College on Saturday March 18 at home.

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