The 2022 NJAC tournament final ended in disappointment yet again for Montclair State University. After getting upset by Rowan University last year in the semifinals the Red Hawks looked to redeem themselves and claim the title. This year’s matchup with Rowan was on an even bigger stage as the tournament trophy and an automatic bid in the NCAA championship were on the line.
In front of a packed and energetic MSU Soccer Park crowd, the Red Hawks fell short. Montclair State, the clear favorite, fell to Rowan 3-0 and watched as the Profs raised the trophy. Led by freshman midfielder Davide Caputo’s hat trick and a rock-solid defense, the Profs won their sixth NJAC championship.
All three of Caputo’s goals would come in the second half. The first coming in the 78th minute, Caputo’s goal ignited the Rowan team and forced Montclair State to push higher up the field. Caputo’s second would come 10 minutes later in the 88th minute. The second goal visibly frustrated the Montclair State team and it was clear the Red Hawks felt defeated. Just one minute later, Caputo would finish his third goal and complete the hat trick.
The game was fast and physical, as both teams started the game flying. The game featured a total of eight yellow cards, four issued to each team. Montclair State could still receive a bid into the NCAA tournament, however, they would have to do so through the selection process.