Union, N.J. (4/23/14) – Senior Richard Cheifitz scored five goals, but it was not enough as the Kean University men's lacrosse team fell to conference rival #12 Montclair State, 10-8 on Wednesday evening.
The Cougars (14-2, 4-1 Skyline) saw their 12 game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Red Hawks, who defeated the Cougars in the 2013 Skyline Conference Championship game last spring.
MSU (14-1, 6-0 Skyline) jumped out an early 5-0 first period advantage, a lead they did not relinquish the remainder of the game. Brett Mangan recorded a hat trick in the first nine minutes of play. The biggest difference in the opening 15 minutes was the shot total, as the Red Hawks outshot the Cougars by a 9-1 margin. The Cougars turned it around in the second period, as Cheifitz (pictured left) pumped in a hat trick of his own, and Anthony Carpenter and Cheifitz scored within 21 seconds of one another to trim the lead to 5-4. After a goal by Michael Schreck, Anthony Perrotta connected 23 seconds later, sending the game into the half with the Cougars trailing by a single goal.
The teams traded goals in the third period, setting the stage for a pivotal fourth and final stanza. Schreck put the Red Hawks back up by two goals, but Zach Williams intercepted a pass near midfield, streaked in and rifled a shot to beat the goalie for his first goal of the season. But MSU answered back as Mangan completed his scoring 21 seconds later. Cheifitz scored with 2:08 remaining to put the Cougars back down a goal, but Don Finn ended the comeback hopes by putting a tally on the board for Montclair with just over a minute remaining.
Mike Criscitello finished the game winning nine-of-13 faceoffs, and led the Cougars with nine ground balls. Cheifitz finished the game with a game-high 12 shots, and Dino Vitale made six stops for the Cougars. Schreck had three goals and two assists for the Red Hawks, while keeper Michael Dorn finished with 11 saves.
Prior to the contest, the Kean University Athletic Department and men's lacrosse program honored seniors Vitale, Cheifitz, Williams, Daniel Brenner, Joey Voto, John Amalfe, Marc Zolchonock, and John Marcelli in a pregame senior night ceremony.
The Cougars return to action on Saturday, April 26th as they take on Mount St. Mary at 1 p.m. to close out the regular season.