Roadrunners Fall to Montclair Red Hawks 2-1 in Season Finale

The Roadrunners men’s soccer team fell to the Montclair Red Hawks 2-1 in a New Jersey Atlantic Conference matchup on Wednesday afternoon at home.

Ramapo now falls to 2-7 in the NJAC and 7-9-2 overall. The team has lost four straight to NJAC opponents since Oct. 16, including losses to Rowan, Richard Stockton, Rutgers-Camden, and now to Montclair.

“We played games against tough opponents in Rutgers-Camden, Stockton, and Montclair,” said sophomore defenseman Rob Shalikar. “There were some unfortunate calls against us in the Rowan and Stockton games, but we played our best, and we give a lot of credit to our opponents.”

As of Wednesday night, Rutgers-Camden, Montclair and Richard Stockton are the first, second and third seeds in the NJAC respectively. The losses effectively put the Roadrunners out of contention for a spot in the tournament.

Ramapo opened the scoring at 12:29 on a shot by junior Andrew Kirshteyn that beat Red Hawks freshman goalkeeper Michael Gonzalez. The goal was his second of the season.

Montclair junior Brian Cullen answered for the Red Hawks just six minutes later with his 10th goal of the season.

Ramapo goalkeeper senior Steve Monaghan made three saves in the first half to keep the score even after 45 minutes, as Ramapo was beaten in shooting chances 15-5.

Montclair sophomore Lucas Terci put his team up by one, scoring his eighth goal of the season on a pass from junior Maxx Wurzburger at 57:58. Despite totaling 12 shooting chances in the second half and forcing Gonzalez to make five saves, the Roadrunners couldn’t find the tying goal.

“We were pretty ecstatic after the first goal, and we remained optimistic tied at half time,” Shalikar said. “We were in a familiar spot down 2-1, and we usually can find a way to claw back into games, so we put our hearts on the field and never gave up.”

The team’s two NJAC victories both came in double overtime this season. They beat New Jersey City University 3-2 on Sept. 25 and Kean University 1-0 on Oct. 5.

The Roadrunners have not made the NJAC tournament since 2010, when they finished 11-3-4 overall with a 5-1-3 NJAC record, finishing third on the conference.

The team was upset in a 1-0 decision against sixth place Kean, who went on to defeat TCNJ 1-0 in double overtime and became the 2010 NJAC champion.

The Roadrunners will see three seniors graduate this year and will have to find leadership on a young team to qualify for the NJAC tournament next year.

Captain Anthony Pasciolla, high scoring forward Dave Przybylo, and Monaghan have just played their last games as Roadrunners, but the team is confident that it will find a way to win next year.

“We had a lot of freshman come on as starters this year,” Shalikar said. “We have a young defensive line that is gaining experience. Were a growing young team with chemistry, and we’ve got a good core group of guys.”