Stockton, CLC
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Stockton University men’s lacrosse survives Montclair State late comeback

Wednesday night, Stockton University (11-4, 3-2 CLC) finished off its first season of the Coastal Lacrosse Conference play, defeating a familiar face in Montclair State (7-7, 1-3) with a score of 16-15. The Ospreys were led by junior attackmen, Reegan Capozzoli who capped off the night with four goals and one assist against a red-hot Red Hawks team.

Montclair State had outscored their last two opponents with a score of 49-6 in non-conference play. They hoped to continue their hot streak against a familiar face in Stockton, who just recently had themselves their worst loss of the season, against the fourth ranked team in the nation, Christopher Newport University. 

Two goals apiece from Capozzoli and junior midfielder Brendan McHale would get things started for the Ospreys, commanding themselves to a 6-2 lead with 4:03 to play in the first quarter. Montclair State would rally back as they did all night long with their balanced offense, trimming the score to 7-6 with 9:31 remaining in the half.  

Luc Swedlund and Nick Grande helped the Ospreys respond quickly, each scoring a goal to boost their lead to 9-6 with 5:47 left in the first half. Both teams would close out the first half with a goal each, and Stockton headed to the visitors' locker room with a 10-7 lead.

Stockton came out of halftime looking to put away their conference rival. The Ospreys shutout the Red Hawks 3-0 in the third quarter. Goals from Colin Hopkins, Hayden Smallwood and Daniel Amores helped the Ospreys form a strong 13-7 lead heading into the final quarter. 

The fourth quarter is where Stockton needed to hold off Montclair State’s late fourth quarter rally. Capozzli scored a quick goal in the first minute of the fourth quarter goal for his third of the night. This would double the Red Hawks score as Stockton found themselves with a 14-7 and it seemed like Montclair State would be unable to rally back once again. After that goal, the Red Hawks flipped the switch instead, scoring five straight goals. 

Freshman face-off specialist Lucas Novack got the Red Hawks rally started, scoring off a great dodge from the top of the restricted line. This brought the energy back to the Red Hawks sideline and would ignite a spark for Montclair State. One minute later, Ethan Mounier would score his 18th goal of the season, decreasing the Ospreys lead to 14-9 with 13:06 to play. 

Mounier had three of the five goals during the thick of Montclair State’s fourth quarter comeback, as he would go on to finish the game with four goals. He showed confidence on the field and it helped continue to inspire the comeback, as Montclair was able to trim Stockton’s lead to 15-13.  Brendan Scanlon would net the clincher for the Ospreys with 2:20 remaining, silencing Montclair’s comeback bringing Stockton’s lead back to three.

Montclair would answer right back after winning the ensuing faceoff, as Ryan Vierbuchen ripped the bottom net bringing Stockton lead back down to two. The Red Hawks would need two goals in two minutes, which they previously did twice already in the fourth quarter. 

Tyler McCrery would score his fourth goal of the game with 33 seconds left, giving time for the Red Hawks to tie the game. All they had to do was win the faceoff, which they have dominated throughout the night, winning 22 out 35 faceoffs. 

Convino scooped up the ground ball after the Red Hawks faceoff win, and sprinted down the field towards the goal in hopes to tie the game. He would get right in front of Osprey’s net but goalkeeper Colin Bernstein would stuff Convino shot earning himself his 19th save of the game. This would be his most important save of the night, as Stockton was able to kill the rest of the clock and finish off their regular season conference play with a thrilling 16-15 victory.

What's Next For Stockton and Montclair State

Montclair State will look to bounce back against Penn College on Saturday, before concluding their regular season against conference rival Kean University next week. Stockton will look to cap off their regular season with two wins against two non-conference opponents, hosting Arcadia University and Muhlenberg College.