No. 17 Women’s Soccer Upsets No. 9 Misericordia in Dominate Fashion

Written by on September 16, 2023

Review by Ryan Nussbaum

Sophomore forward Kylie Prendergast found the back of the net twice as the Montclair State women’s soccer team routed the No. 9 ranked Misericordia University Cougars by a score of 4-1 Wednesday night.

Fans at MSU Soccer Park, both in the stands and atop the adjacent Red Hawk Deck were anticipating fireworks, as Montclair State was set to clash with United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Year Emma Sweitzer. However, in the first half, it was the Red Hawks who lit up the scoreboard.

The common theme of the night was Montclair State capitalizing on the Cougars’ mistakes. In the 4th minute, a mistimed challenge by Cougars’ senior defender Carly Cavanaugh set up Prendergast for an early penalty kick. The goalkeeper stood little chance as the ball rocketed past her, putting the Red Hawks up 1-0. 

Montclair State kept up the momentum, as in the 17th minute, fifth-year midfielder Megan O’Callahan dished the ball through the Cougars’ back line to senior midfielder Aileen Cahill. She found herself one-on-one with the goalkeeper and kept her shot low and on target, increasing the Red Hawk lead.

On the defensive end, Montclair State was just as strong, dominating the time of possession and limiting shot opportunities for the Cougars. Graduate goalkeeper Haley Martin made several impressive saves, including a diving stop, which stopped a first-half set-piece chance from Misericordia. 

Soon after, freshman midfielder Shannon Mullings sent out a shot from deep that seemed to be saved by the Misericordia goalkeeper. But she couldn’t keep her gloves on, as the ball slowly rolled into the net for Mullings’ first career goal as a Red Hawk.

Although they were facing a 3-goal deficit to start the 2nd half, the Cougars were not going to go down without a fight. Sweitzer showed why she is such a highly acclaimed player early on when she sent a laser past Martin to finally put her team on the board. However, this eventually proved to be too little, too late for Misericordia, as a last-minute goal by Prendergrast sealed the deal for the Red Hawks, who took home the 4-1 victory.

Montclair State head Coach Pat Naughter told, “That’s our most complete effort out of time where we needed our most complete effort. That was a huge challenge against Hartford, we thought, we can score goals, and we can attack them, but can we defend the better teams we’re going to see. This team offensively is as good as it gets. And for 90 minutes, I thought we limited their great chances. Haley (Martin) cleaned up what she could, and I thought we did a great job of keeping the ball in front of us. I’m super proud of the kids and their effort, and onto another tough one on Saturday.”

The now 3-1 Red Hawks will hit the road this weekend, as they look to take on Vassar College.