The Montclair State University Red Hawks men’s soccer team wrapped up a three game home-stand on Wednesday with a matchup against the Centenary University Cyclones. Having won the two previous games, the Red Hawks were looking to get their third straight win at MSU Soccer Park before heading on the road.
The continued impressive play of freshman forward Oscar Sanchez helped Montclair State do just that as they rolled past Centenary for their third straight win to sweep the home-stand.
Both teams traded blows early on in the first half. Montclair State got on the board the first 15:35 in, after senior forward Nixon Soglo scored his third goal of the season off an assist from sophomore defender Christian Nunez. However, Centenary responded right back nearly 10 minutes later. At 25:23 in, sophomore midfielder Besnik Hadzovic scored off an assist from sophomore midfielder Stephen Zuluaga to tie the score at 1-1 with less than 20 minutes left in the first half.
In his first game starting as a Red Hawk, Sanchez would continue his impressive start to the season. On a breakaway, he outran several Cyclone defenders to score the tiebreaker with 15:13 left in the first half, giving the Red Hawks a 2-1 lead that they would take into halftime. After Sanchez’s goal, he now leads the team in goals with five, as well as points with 10.
“It was a little hard to get used to it,” Sanchez said. “I can say that I struggled a little bit at the beginning of the season, but now I’m feeling a lot more confident. I’m feeling a lot more comfortable with the ball at my feet and I’m understanding how to cause game-breaks. I feel like the more I get comfortable, the more the goals will come and I’m excited for what’s to come.”
Throughout the game, Montclair State would dominate Centenary in the shot category all game long. The Red Hawks outshot the Cyclones by a lopsided total of 28-3. In shots on goal, Montclair State also dominated 14-2.
In the second half, specifically at the 64:05 mark in the game, Red Hawks senior midfielder Colin Mulligan would score his first goal of the season. Soglo was credited with the assist, giving him a goal and an assist in the game. Soglo now has three goals and one assist in five games on the season.
The Red Hawks would deal the final blow of the game at the 74:32 mark when freshman midfielder Justin Goldberg scored off an assist by junior forward Dimitri Mataras. Goldberg’s goal made the score 4-1, which ended up being the final score as the Red Hawks won their third game in a row and final one of the home-stand.
“The main thing is you’ve got to take it one game at a time,” Tom Tumelty, head coach of the men’s soccer team, said. “I think the league this year is obviously going to be a little better than last year, one game at a time. Anybody in the conference can beat you on any given day so it does make it very difficult.”
Montclair State now stands with a record of 6-2 after the home-stand. Coming up, they’re going on a tough three game road trip. On Wednesday, Sept. 25, Montclair State will matchup against Keystone College.
The Red Hawks will play their second New Jersey Athletic Conference matchup against Rowan University on Saturday, Sept. 28.