MONTCLAIR, N.J. — Playing back-to-back extratime matches and shootouts within a 24-hour period was something the New York University men could not overcome Sunday night.
The Violets’ season came to an end in the NCAA Division III tournament second round as they lost in a shootout, 5-4, to Montclair State University after playing to a 1-1 draw.
On Saturday night, NYU got past Haverford College here, winning the penalty-kick tie-breaker after playing to a 1-1 tie.
It certainly was a historic season for the Violets as they reached the tournament for the first time since 2010. Head coach Kim Wyant was believed to have been the first woman to direct a men’s team into the Division III tourney.
Deadlocked after 110 minutes, the Violets (12-4-3) and Red Hawks (17-1-4) settled business in penalty kicks. NYU led off the session and scored in four of the five rounds, but Montclair converted all five of its attempts with their final shooter, Michael Knapp, connecting for the game-winner.
“We battled all night long, once again overcoming a deficit and competing until the end,” Wyant said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the guys and the effort they put forth tonight and all season long.”
The Red Hawks drew first blood after they were awarded a penalty kick 12:25 into the match. Rafael Terci converted to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
The Violets’ first three shots on goal in the opening half were turned aside by goalkeeper Mike Saalfrank. But, just before the half ended, Ricardo Mitrano sent a long ball down the left side. Matteo Russo collected it and fired a shot toward the net that deflected off a Montclair State defender and snuck past Sallfrank to the near side and knotted the game with 34 seconds left in the half.
“Our guys always play until the final whistle,” Wyant said. “This was just another example of our resilience. We are a tough team to beat and no matter what we’re always in the game.”
In the final game of his NYU career, goalkeeper Matt Engel finished with a season-high 10 saves. Over their last 12 games, NYU did not allow more than one goal in any match.
“This program has taken a massive step this season. We have poured a great foundation,” Wyant said. “The many seniors who have helped build us up will be missed. But, they’ve set phenomenal examples for our younger players who now know what it takes to win and be successful.”