The Montclair State University men’s lacrosse team looks unstoppable and ready for the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) playoffs after an impressive regular season run.
Holding a current record of 11-4 and a five-game winning streak, they have been a brutal force on the offensive side as opponents have not been able to find the answer to stopping them. All things considered, this men’s lacrosse team playoff run is one to look forward to.
To head coach Matt Poskay, the opportunity to face a familiar foe in the playoffs has him more excited than ever.
“It’s the same kind of concept from 2019,” Poskay said. “We were playing Kean University back to back and unfortunately it didn’t work. It’s more important to us, to the guys who have been putting in work since January but we’re excited for the task ahead. I think we’ll be ready.”
Their five-game winning streak has been the spark everyone has been waiting for and it came at the perfect time. Starting their streak on the road and closing it off on the road as well, the games were nothing short of entertaining as the attack was brutal and many final scores came with a whopping number of goals on the Red Hawks’ side.
Poskay has one simple message for his team heading into the most important time of the season.
“Keep our confidence,” Poskay said. “I think we’ve been slowly getting better, and that was our goal every day since mid-January. Play our best lacrosse right now and I think we are and we have the potential to be playing lacrosse in May.”
Looking back at the 2021 season, the season came to an end once they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Kean Cougars 16-7. The men’s lacrosse team lost their previous three matchups against Kean that season as well.
It’s safe to say this team has bounced back from last season and with a vengeance. Kean has not been able to catch a break from the Red Hawks. They beat Kean during their winning streak with a final score of 16-11 at Sprague Field.
Kean being their first-round playoff opponent again this year will feel like deja vu, but with a win already, the odds seem to be more in Montclair State’s favor. The team this season holds an undefeated record of 7-0 in home games, and a second-place finish in the conference only adds to the Red Hawks’ advantage.
As the attack looks like the answer to all problems for this lacrosse team, senior attacker Christian Boyle recently hit the 100th goal mark and looks to add more in his team’s playoff run. Boyle, having the veteran experience, has been an essential addition to this team and showed what he has always been capable of in the last regular-season game by scoring 3 goals and 1 assist over Bryn Athyn College.
Alongside Boyle is junior midfielder Tyler McCreery, who also had an impressive run throughout this season. Tyler is one to remember for the program’s history as he is the second player to record 100 career goals and assists.
Tyler joins historic company alongside Kevin Gondres, who played from 2002 to 2005 and scored 106 goals and contributed 115 assists. His brother junior attacker Mike McCreery also made history with nine caused turnovers against Bryn Athyn. This was one over the single-game record at Montclair State notched by former All-American Ryan Young back in 2014.
Acquiring the record just this season, Tyler McCreery has also been able to hit the 200-point mark. Tyler has been able to provide a nonstop attack force for this team through his offensive presence. Having his support on the offensive will make the men’s lacrosse team have more of a hopeful run this year and go far into the summer.
While these two veteran players mean a lot to how the team plays, Poskay values everyone who contributes to the team.
“When it comes to playoff time, you need everybody,” Poskay said. “But you do have your guys that have always guided and been leading ships, so at the end of the day, we do lean on them a little heavier sometimes, yes. But at the same time, no, we need everybody. We don’t need just the guys on the field, we need the guys that don’t see that much time on the field just to help us push through the last couple of days of practice just to get better.”
Going into May, it’s high hopes for the men’s lacrosse team and the Red Hawks, along with Poskay, is happy to be on the field every day and spend time with each other compared to the times of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic a couple of years ago.
Poskay’s strategy for the playoffs is not complex.
“We just need everyone to play their role and do their job,” Poskay said. “That’s the kind of stuff that pays off in the end.”