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Men’s Soccer: Screeching Out of the Gate

by Kevin Saez

Montclair State University’s Men’s Soccer team improved to 4-0 on the year with a blowout win over Farmingdale State (Long Island, N.Y.). The Red Hawks had returned the night before from The Maryville Classic, a tournament held in Tennessee. The high-powered offense of Montclair State defeated Covenant College 6-1 in the first game and defeated host Maryville College by a score of 4-2.
Monday saw the men continue their strong form on a humid night at Pittser Field. Montclair State started in a 4-2-3-1 formation which allowed coach Tumelty to play his plethora of attacking talent at the same time. Freshman Mike Saalfrank started in goal and commanded the backline well all night. Justin Clancy and Tyler Daly manned the fullback spots, while John Starner and Joe Barrajo played in Montclair’s stopper/sweeper style back line, respectively.
Rafael Terci and Mike Taranto slotted into the two deeper central midfield roles, with Taranto sitting a bit deeper to help shield the back line and break up play, while the younger Terci brother helped shuttle the ball up the field and join the attack. These two allowed for standout forward Lucas Terci to play in a creative role behind the striker where he could spring attacks forward with knife-like passes from deeper spots or use his quick feet to create opportunities in traffic higher up the field.

Photo Credit: MSU Sports

Photo Credit: MSU Sports

Terci was flanked by speedy and direct winger Kyle Goodwin and freshman Josh Hendrickson. For his first year, Hendrickson looked very comfortable on the ball and worked hard in defense as well. Junior forward Mike Olla led the line as the target striker, using his pace and hold up play to offer a great outlet for the midfield.
In the early stages of the game, both teams had good opportunities to go ahead and it looked that the game might be wide open. The first good chance of the game came in the seventh minute from Farmingdale State winger Flynn Shanahan, who picked the ball up at the halfway line and proceeded to catch the high Montclair defensive line off guard, torching right back Justin Clancy on a 40-yard run. After getting goal side of Clancy, Shanahan was one- on-one with the keeper, only to drag his shot wide left from 14 yards. Farmingdale had again another opportunity in the 13th minute, when left back Anthony Leonick fired in a mammoth throw-in that found a Farmingdale forward unmarked at the back post, only to be headed straight into the palms of Saalfrank. After that, the game was all Red Hawks, whose counter attacking game looked fluid and lightning-fast.
The Red Hawks almost took the lead in the 15th minute when Terci evaded two defenders with the ball but his low shot was saved by Kevin Gordillo of Farmingdale, who recovered excellently to save Goodwin’s rebound attempt as well.
Montclair broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when Goodwin cut in from the right, drawing two defenders and then squared to R. Terci whose lovely first time pass split the defense and found Mike Olla, who finished clinically.
After star midfielder Damian Bziukiewicz was subbed on for Josh Hendrickson, Montclair really took the game over. In the 28th minute Bziukiewicz played R. Terci down the right, whose low cross found his brother Lucas, whose composed sidefooted shot found the bottom left corner. MSU struck again 3 minutes later when Lucas Terci’s audacious first time back heel pass sent Substitute Kevin Simek through on goal, who proceeded to chip the ball over the keeper from 20 yards. In a day full of goals, this was perhaps the most spectacular.
Quickly after that Farmingdale State scored an own goal off of a Kyle Goodwin cross, putting them up 4-0 and the game out of reach before halftime. Substitute Alain Brown managed to bag two goals off the bench, including a spectacular curling strike from about 20 yards that found the top right corner. Between goals from Kazari Trought, the Rams managed to nab a goal with 12 minutes to play, when JT Famularo tapped on from two yards after a Montclair defender’s failed clearance bounced off of his own face.
UPDATE: Montclair State won over Hunter College 2-0 on Wednesday night.

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