The Lions of Kean University beat Montclair State University 3-0, earning a comprehensive victory.
It is worth noting that Montclair State was without three crucial players: leading scorer Mike Olla, all-American Lucas Terci and stalwart defender John Starner. Montclair State started the game strong, however, pressing high and dominating possesion, limiting Kean to some speculative shots from a distance, none of which caused keeper Mike Salfraank any trouble.
Some excellent interplay between winger Damian Bzuikiewizc and freshman forward Rafael Terci saw the latter test the Lion’s keeper Chidi Iloka from 14 yards, but Iloka made a good save from a tough angle. The game turned into a physical midfield battle, with some hard tackles from both sides.
Chances were limited for both sides until the 30th minute, when Kean midfielder Kevin Oloya burst into the box and was taken down by Red Hawk centerback Joe Barajos for a penalty. Oloya made no mistake from 12 yards, hitting a hard shot into the side netting of Saalfrank’s goal.
Kean took their lead into halftime and came out of the break pressing hard and looking for another goal.
They pinned Montclair State back in their own half with an aggressive, pressing game. In the 52nd minute, Kean’s Oloya latched onto a loose ball deep in the Montclair State half and fed forward Kevin Rocha, who took a touch and smashed a hard shot above Saalfrank, putting Kean up 2-0.
Montclair State shifted their formation at this point, moving to a back three and putting left- back Kyle Goodwin up front. Kean continued to dominate, however, as the Red Hawks looked very fatigued from their tough schedule. The high press paid off once again for the Lions as Rocha stole the ball high up the field and floated in a lovely cross that forward Kean’s Robert Barrera calmly headed into the goal.
Despite this heavy loss, Montclair State was able to bounce back on Oct. 17 with thrilling overtime win over Rutgers Camden on a goal from Mike Taranto, moving to 6-1 in the NJAC and 14-2 overall. Montclair State faces the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in Lowell, Mass. on Wednesday, Oct. 21.