PHOTO ESSAY: Men’s football skids at end, loses conference crown to Rowan

The 2022 NJAC Tournament Finals once again ended in disappointment for Montclair State University. After being upset by Rowan University last year in the semifinals, the Red Hawks looked to redeem themselves and claim the title. This year’s match with Rowan was on an even bigger stage as the tournament trophy and an automatic NCAA Championship bid were on the line.

The student-athletes came out in force to support their men’s soccer team.
Dan Dreisbach | The Montclairon

Josiah Crawford runs through the defense looking for a scoring opportunity.  Dan Dreisbach |  The Montclairon

Senior striker Josiah Crawford breaks through the defense looking for a scoring opportunity.
Dan Dreisbach | The Montclarion

In front of a packed and energetic crowd at MSU Soccer Park, the Red Hawks came up short. Hot favorite Montclair State fell to Rowan 3-0 and saw the Profs lift 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. First came in the 78th minute, Caputo’s goal ignited Rowan’s side 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. A minute later, Caputo completed his third goal and completed the hat trick.

The game went scoreless until the 78th minute.  Dan Dreisbach |  The Montclairon

The game went scoreless until the 78th minute.
Dan Dreisbach | The Montclairon

Newly named NJAC Goaltender of the Year Shane Keenan was substituted for the second half.  Dan Dreisbach |  The Montclairon

Freshly named NJAC Goaltender of the Year, graduate student goaltender Shane Keenan was substituted for the second half.
Dan Dreisbach | The Montclairon

The game was fast and physical as both teams started the game with a bang. The match featured a total of eight yellow cards, four issued to each team. Montclair State could still receive an offer for the NCAA Tournament, however, they would have to do so through the selection process.

Tempers flared at the end of the game after Rowan scored his second of three goals.  Dan Dreisbach |  The Montclarion

Tempers flared at the end of the game after Rowan scored his second of three goals.
Dan Dreisbach | The Montclairon

Ian Chesney, as always, helped play key defense for the Red Hawks.  Dan Dreisbach |  The Montclairon

Sophomore defenseman Ian Chesney, as always, helped play key defense for the Red Hawks.
Dan Dreisbach | The Montclairon

The Red Hawks had chances to score in this game but unfortunately couldn't connect on any of them.  Dan Dreisbach |  The Montclairon

The Red Hawks had chances to score in this game, but they couldn’t connect on any of them.
Dan Dreisbach | The Montclairon

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