Goals have never come easier for the Red Hawks this season than when they pummeled the reeling College of Mount Saint Vincent Dolphins 25-3 on April 16. The win brings their record to 6-6, marking the first time since opening day that the men’s lacrosse team has been at .500.
Red Hawk senior attacker Brett Mangan led the charge with a season high of 7 points split between two goals and five assists, resulting in a Skyline Conference Player of the Week award. Montclair State University was also represented by freshman midfielder Bryan Peters as Skyline Conference Rookie of the Week after a strong three-goal showing of his own.
As has been a consistent theme in recent weeks, the Red Hawks jumped out to an early lead, scoring three goals within the first five minutes of play, one of which was scored by senior attacker Don Finn, the tempo-setting team leader who has been called their quarterback by Head Coach Michael Schambach. After an 11-goal output in just the first quarter, Montclair State had complete control over the 1-11 Dolphins, who were clearly overmatched from the opening whistle.
Those farther down the roster got to experience a valuable, higher-stakes conference game atmosphere, resulting in strong performances from Peters, sophomore attackers Jake Hoffner and Rob Papa, and senior attacker Dylan Heningburg. Each of them contributed three goals, helping to showcase some of the deep base in the Red Hawks’ roster that they hope will bring continued success in upcoming seasons.
Montclair State kept up consistent pressure throughout the game, forcing 25 turnovers and making sure the ball rarely left the Dolphins’ territory. These forceful attacks led to lengthy scoring streaks, the longest of which was an unanswered 11-goal run that stretched from the first to third quarters.
The Red Hawks’ ability to get 43 shots on goal was an impressive display considering the bench and starters switched roles after the first quarter, but the eruption of firepower from mostly underclassmen shows that the continuation of Montclair State’s Skyline Conference dominance coupled with perennial near-top 25 ranks is a very real possibility.
The Red Hawks current 2-0 Skyline Conference lead is shared by Farmingdale State College (10-2), but Stockton University (10-3) and Kean University (9-4) are right behind with 2-1 conference records of their own.
Montclair State’s recent win over Kean University on April 20 helped to separate the conference’s contenders and pretenders.
The Kean game will also be an important time for the Red Hawks to show against a strong opponent whether or not they’re better than their record indicates, after winning five of their last six contests and with the NCAA Tournament getting closer every day.