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Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)

Softball Stays Atop MAAC with Manhattan Sweep

WSB 4 20Behind an offensive onslaught of five homeruns, the MU softball team swept the Manhattan Jaspers on Sunday by scores of 8-0, and 10-7.

With the victory, the Hawks improve to 9-1 in conference play, and maintain their spot perched at the top of the MAAC.

“It’s extremely important,” junior infielder Rachel Shotzbarger, who added seven RBIs on the day, said of the win. “Manhattan is a good competitor and are always willing to fight.”

To add to her seven RBIs, Shotzbarger contributed three hits on the day, including a grand slam in the second inning of game two. In addition, senior catcher Jill Freese also recorded three hits in the Hawks’ sweep, adding a grand slam of her own and two runs scored.

After edging a run in the second inning of game one, the Hawks went off for five runs in the third. Sophomore outfielder Katie Baron led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior outfielder Emma Hill. Baron scored from second when sophomore outfielder Chloe Howerth, who had a team-high four hits on the day, singled to the pitcher who errantly threw the ball into right field. A walk and a fielder’s choice would load the bases for Freese, who sent a grand slam to left to put the Hawks ahead 6-0.

“When we’re aggressive and attack every strike in the zone, good things happen,” MU head coach Shannon Salsburg said.

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Baseball Drops Two of Three to Siena

MB 4 20The MU baseball team struggled over the past week, losing three of their four contests. MU fell 7-3 to Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday, Apr. 13 and won the first game 10-4 over Siena before falling 6-2 and 6-4 in the final two games of the conference series this past weekend.

The lone victory of the week for the Hawks came in game one of the Siena series and they scored all 10 runs of that game in the fourth inning. Junior catcher Ryan Bailey laced a one out single into right and advanced to third on two errors. He scored on a single by senior shortstop Robbie Alessandrine who advanced to third on sophomore second baseman Justin Trochiano’s double. Junior third baseman Grant Lamberton was hit by a pitch to load up the bases for sophomore first baseman Shaine Hughes, who drove a sacrifice fly to center that plated Bailey.

Senior left fielder Dan Shea followed that up with a two run single and advanced to second on a bunt single by senior center fielder Cary Jacobson. Junior right fielder Chris Gaetano followed up with an RBI double that scored Shea and sent Jacobson from first to third. Senior outfielder Christian Holland walked to re-load the bases and bring up Bailey for the second time in the inning who singled into right that brought home two more runs, extending the MU lead to 7-1. Alessandrine doubled into left that plated two more runs and he would score on an error by Siena sophomore second baseman Jordan Bishop, plating the tenth run of the inning.

Senior left hander Frank Trimarco recorded his third win by going seven innings and allowing four earned runs on seven hits while striking out seven on 122 pitches. Freshman southpaw Kyle Ajjan recorded the final six outs, three coming via strikeout.

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Men’s Lacrosse Falls to Detroit, 9-8

MLAX 4 20The men’s lacrosse team fell short to the University of Detroit Mercy on Saturday, losing the conference battle 9-8 on Kessler Field.

MU surrendered a four-goal lead heading into the second half, while Detroit scored five in the fourth quarter.  Five different hawks scored in this contest, but it wasn’t enough to win the game.

 “We came out to a strong start but Detroit was able to respond and beat us in the second half,” MU junior midfielder and captain Eric Berger said. “We will focus on us and the little things to prepare for our next two conference games.”

It was a tough loss for the Hawks, who currently sit at 2-2 in the MAAC and 6-5 overall.  MU has their first winning record in program history since it started in 2014. 

Junior Midfielder Dylan Schulte began the game by driving down the right alley and scoring a right-handed goal in the middle of the first quarter to put MU ahead 1-0.  This would prove to be the only goal by either team in the opening quarter.

Early in the second quarter, junior attackers Dan Bloodgood and Eamon Campbell each added a goal as MU extended their lead to 3-0. Freshman attacker Eamon Campbell then scored a man-up goal on man up to put the score at 4-0 halfway through the second quarter. However, Detroit answered with two goals to cut the MU lead down to two heading into the half.

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Women’s Lacrosse Suffers First MAAC LossThe

WLAX 4 20The women’s lacrosse team had their undefeated conference record snapped on Saturday when they fell to the Canisius Golden Griffins by a score of 19-6 in Buffalo, NY.

The story of the day came from Canisuis’ sophomore midfielder Erica Evans, who netted eight goals in the Griffins victory.  In addition, Griffins senior attacker Taylor Giglio was good for six goals on the day, giving the two players over half of the offense for the visiting team.

With the win, Canisius stays at an undefeated 5-0 in the MAAC, while the Hawks drop to 5-1.

The start of the game was a little unusual for MU.  When it has regularly been the Hawks setting the tone early with marks in the first few minutes, it was Canisius who had control from the get-go.  The Golden Griffins came out of the gates on a 4-0 run within the first six minutes.

After MU senior attacker Michelle Gonzales’s goal made the game 4-1, the next six marks would belong to Canisius.  Three of those six goals were scored by Evans and Giglio.

Down 10-1, sophomore midfielder Kate Ryan connected off a feed from senior attacker Marial Pierce, putting the Hawks down by eight.  However, Giglio would answer one last time for Canisius before the half, sending a deflated MU into halftime down 11-2.

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Women’s Lacrosse Beats Quinnipiac on Senior Day, 15-6

WLAX 4 13It was bitterly cold and consistently raining for the women’s lacrosse team’s senior day on Saturday, however that did not stop their offensive onslaught of conference rivals Quinnipiac, as the Hawks took down the Bobcats by a score of 15-6.

Seven seniors were honored with a halftime ceremony, those players including, attacker Molly Arnette, defender Nicole Duca, attacker Michelle Gonzales, goalie Caroline Huelster, attacker Marial Pierce, defender Taryn Schweizer, and midfielder Kristina Vangeli.

“They’ve all done a great job and all bring something different to the table,” head coach Eileen Ghent said of her senior class. “Coach Wescott (Former Monmouth head Coach Denise Wescott) recruited them all, I was able to take over with them in leadership positions and I want to give her credit for bringing them here. The seniors have done a great job of evolving as leaders to bring our team where we want to be.”

MU set the tone for the game early when junior attacker Olivia Higson netted an unassisted goal within the first minute of regulation. The Hawks would then go on to score three unanswered goals, back-to-back marks by sophomore attacker Alexa Smith and one to follow by senior midfielder Marial Pierce. Quinnipiac finally bounced back with a man-up goal at the 21:26 mark by junior midfielder Alex Hlesciak, making the score 4-1 in favor of the Hawks.

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Baseball Takes Two of Three From St. Peter’s

MB 4 13The MU baseball team defeated Princeton and won two out of three in a weekend series against MAAC opponent Saint Peter’s, improving to 17-14 (7-2 MAAC) on the season.

The two teams split a Sunday doubleheader, with the blue and white taking game one by a score of 4-1 behind a complete game by junior right hander Ricky Dennis. Saint Peter’s only recorded two hits and one run off of the 6’8” right hander, who struck out seven and walked none. The Hawks scored a run in the first on an RBI double by senior left fielder Dan Shea, driving in sophomore first baseman Shaine Hughes who walked and stole second.

Shea drove in three more runs in the sixth with a three-run home run, his fourth long ball of the season. Junior third baseman Grant Lamberton was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and advanced to second on Hughes’ single to right. That brought Shea to the plate, who lifted an 0-1 pitch over the center field fence giving the Hawks a 4-1 lead.

Saint Peter’s came back in the finale and won 8-7. MU had a 7-3 lead heading into the seventh inning, but Saint Peter’s scored one in the seventh and four in the eighth to secure their first conference win of the season.

Senior left hander Anthony Ciavarella started for the Hawks, going six innings allowing three runs [one earned] on five hits and six strikeouts. Freshman right hander Jordan McCrum came on for the seventh and gave up one run on two hits.

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Softball Wins 5 of 6 MAAC Road Games

WS 4 13The MU softball team finished up a demanding week on the road on Sunday when they split with the Fairfield Stags after previously sweeping both Quinnipiac and Iona, putting them at the top of the MAAC with a 7-1 conference record.

“It was a grind,” MU head coach Shannon Salsburg said. “We have to be smart utilizing practice time, because on game day they’re always ready.”

MU beat the Stags in game one, 6-2, behind a five-run fifth inning after falling behind 2-0 after three innings. The fifth was led off with back-to-back singles by sophomore pitcher Amanda Riley and sophomore utility Katie Baron, respectively. After Riley scored due to a Fairfield error on senior catcher Jill Freese’s bunt, the Stags retired the next two batters. However, the Hawks would plate four more runs thanks to a junior outfielder Justene Reyes double, another Fairfield error and a freshman infielder Nicole Wieczorek single.

MU would tack on one more run in the sixth inning when senior infielder Rachel Shotzbarger scored on a senior third baseman Ashalynn Umiamaka double to left-center. Senior pitcher Sydney Underhill would earn the win for the Hawks, getting her 11th win on the season.

However, game two belonged to defending MAAC Champions Fairfield, as they shutout the Hawks in a 5-0 victory. The Stags got on the board in the third inning when senior outfielder Lauren Filicia singled, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single from freshman infielder Alisha Marshall. Scoring two more insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings would give Fairfield pitcher Lauren Falkanger the cushion she needed, as she kept the Hawks to no runs and earned the win over Riley.

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Men’s Tennis Cruises for Two MAAC Wins

MT 4 13The men’s tennis team took home two conference wins this past weekend, defeating the Siena Saints, 6-1 on Saturday, Apr. 9 and Fairfield, 7-0 on Sunday, Apr. 10.

Junior Przemyslaw Filipek, freshman Nicola Pipoli, and freshman Alberto Giuffrida all earned wins at singles and doubles in MU’s defeat of Fairfield. With the win, the Hawks are now 4-0 in the MAAC Conference.

Wins by Filipek and Pipoli at No. 2 and junior Christian Vieira and Giuffrida at No. 3 gave the Hawks the doubles point on the day. MU then went on to win five of six singles matches to give them the final score of 6-1 on the day.

In singles, sophomore Gomez Estrada won 6-2, 6-2, at No. 4, while Giuffrida dominated at the No. 6 spot, winning 6-3, 6-1. After a Pipoli, 6-2, 7-5, win at No. 3, Filipek took home the No. 2 match, winning 6-4, 6-3. MU’s sixth point of the day came at No. 1, junior Vidit Veghala taking that match, 7-5, 6-2. Fairfield’s only singles win came at the No. 5 spot, as Fairfield’s Anthony Caputo took the match from Vieira, 7-5, 6-1.

“It was nice to see us get in some tough spots today and compete with poise,” MU head coach Kyle Bailey said. “We talk a lot about focusing on what you can control and I thought the guys did that well today.”

On Saturday, MU won in dominating fashion over the Siena Saints in a contest where the Hawks did not surrender over two games in any set of any match on the day.

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Riley K’s 10, Homers in Softball’s Win

WSB 4 6The MU softball team defeated its hOURglass rivals, Rider, in back-to-back games on Saturday afternoon at MU Softball Park. 

Both games ended in mercy-rule finishes in the 5th inning, as the Hawks were able to tally nine and 11 runs in each game respectively without letting up a single run in either.  Senior catcher Jill Freese hit two home runs and had three RBI. Sophomore utility Katie Baron also homered, doubled twice and had three RBI for the offense of the Hawks. 

MU pitchers Amanda Riley and Sydney Underhill each had complete game shutouts, with strikeout totals of ten and six respectively.  Riley’s 10 K’s were good for a career-high as a Hawk, MU is now 13-11 (2-0 MAAC), as Rider falls to 3-21 (0-2 MAAC).

Baron finished the day 4-4, scoring every time she got on base.  Sophomore outfielder Chloe Howerth, junior outfielder Justene Reyes, sophomore pitcher Amanda Riley, senior third baseman Ashalynn Umiamak, and Freese stacked up three hits each.  Riley hit a homer, doubled twice, drove in three RBI and scored three runs.  Reyes hit two doubles and scored twice, and senior utility Emma Hill had an RBI triple and scored three runs.  Junior infielder Rachel Shotzbarger also drove in three runs with a bases-clearing double. 

In game one, Riley struck out 10 out of 17 batters she faced.  She let up one hit, and one hit-by-pitch in a complete game shutout.  In the latter contest, Underhill allowed five hits and a walk in her outing, striking out six.

“It was great to come out in our first MAAC series and take two,” MU head coach Shannon Salsburg said. “It really sets the tone for what we need to do throughout the entire conference season.”

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Daly Leads MU Over Caniusius, 11-6

MLAX 4 6

Coming off back-to-back road games, the men’s lacrosse team defeated the Canisius Griffins 11-6 Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y.

Heading into Saturday’s game, both teams were 1-1 in conference play, but MU’s recent 10-5 win over Manhattan propelled them forward into with a positive attitude, and the win against Canisius puts them at an undefeated 5-0 on the road.

“As a staff, it felt great to see our guys take a big step forward today in our development,” head coach Brian Fisher said. “We really emphasized doing the little things this week and it really showed up today. Our veterans and leaders really stepped up, played well and set the tone with our focus all day.”

Canisius and Monmouth are the highest scoring teams in the conference. One factor going against another high scoring team is setting the pace of the game early and stand out defense – both of which the Hawks accomplished against the Griffins.

“On the defensive end it was a total team effort,” Fisher said. “Our close defenders and defensive midfielders were all tough on the ball, which set the tone while [junior goalkeeper] Nick Hreshko played his best game this year and was excellent at the last line of defense.”

MU’s defense locked down Canisius’ top attackman Vince Gravino [who was recently drafted in the Major League Lacrosse by the Ohio Machine], holding him to one goal for the first half of the game.

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Five Smith Goals Propel Women’s Lacrosse Past Niagra

WLAX 4 6Behind five goals netted by sophomore attacker Alexa Smith, the MU women’s lacrosse team defeated Niagra University 15-11 at Kessler field on Sunday, improving to 6-5 on the season and 2-0 in MAAC play.

“It’s important to get a good start, and being 2-0 puts us in a good position,” MU head coach Eileen Ghent said.  “This conference is so competitive; it’s really anyone’s game, no matter who or where you’re playing.”

After going into the half down 7-6, the Hawks berated Niagra’s defense for nine goals in the second period.  Before this game, Niagra’s defense was averaging 9.6 goals allowed per contest for the 2016 season.

“We just wanted to get pumped up at halftime,” said Smith, who scored four of her game-high five goals in the second half.  “We knew that we could come out on top.”

The game began with a goal by Niagra leading scorer and freshman attacker Caroline Crump, which was quickly answered by a 3-0 Hawk run, containing goals by Smith, sophomore midfielder Caroline Corbliss, and senior midfielder Michelle Gonzales.  However, the Purple Eagles would answer with a three-goal stint of their own, and after a senior attacker Marial Pierce goal at the 12:17 mark tied the game at four, Niagra would bounce back with three more unanswered goals, putting them up 7-4.

With just over two minutes to play in the first half, senior midfielder Kristina Vangeli scored an unassisted goal after winning a draw that would come to be a major momentum shifter for the Hawks in their victory.

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Baseball Takes Two of Three from Manhattan

MBB 4 6The MU baseball team split two games against in-state rival Rutgers and took two out of three against MAAC conference opponent Manhattan last week.

MU traveled to Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls, NY to take on Manhattan in a weekend series. The two teams split a doubleheader on Saturday, Apr. 2.

Senior southpaw Frank Trimarco got the ball in game one and gave up four runs on ten hits in six innings, but left the game with his team up by a run.  Freshman Joe Molettiere came in the game in the seventh and pitched into the ninth, when he gave up two runs on a Jose Carrera double to tie the game at five and an RBI single by Fabian Pena gave the Jaspers game one.

“They’re always tough,” head coach Dean Ehehalt said about Manhattan. “They’re kind of like we are. They’re a scrappy team, they throw strikes and are tough outs at the plate and they have some guys who can really run. They had some injuries last year and their season didn’t go quite as well as they wanted it to. They’re a very talented team that is well coached.”

The Hawks bounced back in game two defeating Manhattan 5-4 behind junior right hander Ricky Dennis, who allowed four runs [one earned] in five innings on six hits and five strikeouts. The Blue and White scored all five of their runs in the fifth. Freshman catcher Clay Koniencki led off with a single and advanced to third on singles by senior shortstop  Robbie Alessandrine and sophomore second baseman Justin Trochiano to load the bases. Back-to-back walks plated two run and cut the deficit in half and senior left fielder Dan Shea singled home two more runs to tie the game at four. Senior center fielder Cary Jacobson’s sacrifice fly gave the Hawks a 5-4 lead they would not give up.

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Baseball Sweeps Rider in First MAAC Series

MB Beats Rider

In their opening series against a MAAC opponent and the first home series of the season, the Hawks baseball team swept the Rider Broncs (3-17, 0-3) in a three game series at MU Baseball Field.

MU trailed Rider 4-3 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning in the home opener on Friday, Mar. 25. Junior right fielder Chris Gaetano led off with a walk and stole second. He came around to score on an RBI single by junior catcher Ryan Bailey, who advanced to second on an error by the Rider right fielder. With the game tied at four, sophomore second baseman Justin Trochiano laid down a sacrifice bunt advancing Bailey to third with one out.

After senior shortstop Robbie Alessandrine struck out swinging for the second out of the inning, leadoff man and junior third baseman Grant Lamberton picked up his fourth hit of the day, an infield single in between home and third base, giving the Hawks runners on the corners with two out. After Lamberton advanced to second on a wild pitch, Rider decided to walk sophomore first baseman and reigning MAAC Player of the week Shaine Hughes to load the bases and set up a force at any base.

Senior left fielder Dan Shea came to the plate and worked the count full before sending the 3-2 offering over the right-center field wall for a grand slam. Shea’s third homer of the season gave MU an 8-4 lead that they held onto after sophomore left hander Justin Andrews worked around a leadoff single and ended the game with only four pitches by inducing a 4-6-3 double play, giving the Hawks a victory in their first home and conference game of the season.

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Men’s Tennis Defeat Niagra 6-1 in MAAC Opener

MT Beats NiagraThe MU men’s tennis team opened MAAC Conference play with a win against the Niagra Purple Eagles on Saturday by a score of 6-1.

The victory for the Hawks comes after a challenging pre-conference schedule, competing with opponents such as Boston College and Yale University.

This season marks the first year in the MAAC Conference for Head Coach Kyle Bailey, coming to MU after coaching at the University of Maryland.  He is impressed with what he has seen so far from the MAAC, and believes an early win is great for a team in such a competitive atmosphere.

“Niagara came out strong in the doubles, playing with good energy,” said MU head coach Kyle Bailey. “It was good to see our guys step up to the challenge and hold their ground.”

Freshman Nicola Pipoli, junior Christian Vieira and freshman Alberto Giuffrida each claimed wins at both singles and doubles as the Hawks improved their overall record to 4-7.

Pipoli paired with junior Przemyslaw Filipek at No. 2 doubles by a score of 6-2 to start the winning ways for the Hawks.

However, the Purple Eagles tied the score with junior Felipe Fuentes and junior Francis Nadeau’s 6-4 victory over MU junior Vidit Vaghela and sophomore Ale Gomez Estrada at No. 1. 

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Women’s Lacrosse Battles Siena, Wins 16-15

WL Beats SienaThe women’s lacrosse team started their 2016 conference play by battling for a victory over the Siena Saints 16-15 on Saturday at the Siena Turf Field in Loudonville, NY.

In a game where six different Hawks scored goals, junior attacker Marial Pierce and junior attacker Olivia Higson combined for 11 points.

“Starting 1-0 in MAAC play is very important,” said Monmouth Head Coach Eileen Ghent. “This league is competitive and every win will be earned, which makes this win even more significant. Today was an exciting, hard fought game. Siena is an explosive offensive team and one that will surely find success.”

The Hawks hit the ground running in the first half when senior attacker Michelle Gonzales netted a goal 43 seconds into regulation, setting the tone for a half which contained 22 combined goals by both teams.  After a 3-0 run by Siena, MU answered with a sophomore midfielder Kate Ryan goal at the 23:48 minute mark, bringing the Blue and White within one.

After a two-goal stint with 15:48 remaining in the half gave Siena an 8-6 lead, MU would score the next five goals in just over five minutes.  Siena stopped the bleeding with a goal by senior attacker Sarah Croutier which was followed by Higson’s third goal of the game with 2:28 left on the clock, putting MU ahead 12-9. 

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Men’s Lacrosse Tops Manhattan, 10-5

ML Beats ManhattanThe MU men’s lacrosse team dominated Manhattan College for their first MAAC victory in the 2016 season Saturday, winning 10-5 in a game in which they never trailed.

Four of MU’s ten goals came from the stick of junior attacker Chris Daly, in an effort where eight different Hawks registered a point.

“The staff and I are proud of how hard we played this afternoon,” MU head coach Brian Fisher said. “The effort, energy and excitement was contagious and once we settled into the game we began to play well.”

MU immediately took charge of the first half when reigning MAAC Rookie of the Week and freshman attacker Eamon Campbell set Daly up for one of his three goals of the half within the first two minutes of regulation, and they never looked back.  After Manhattan freshman attacker Parker Giarrantana answered with a goal on the following faceoff, MU sophomore attacker Bryce Wasserman scored with two minutes remaining in the first quarter, sparking a five-goal run for the Hawks.

Entering the second quarter leading 3-1, MU increased its lead behind a pair of goals from Daly and a marker from redshirt sophomore midfielder Dylan Schulte before Manhattan halted the run with a goal from junior midfielder Alex Abiog at the 4:31 minute mark.  The Hawks headed into halftime with a 6-2 lead. 

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Men’s Basketball Defeated in Second Round of NIT

MBB Loss Second RoundA season to remember came to an end for the men’s basketball team at the hands of an 87-71 defeat by the George Washington Colonials in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament on Mar. 21.

The Colonials had the lead from the first basket on, not trailing once all game. MU head coach King Rice gives them all the credit.

“We didn’t play our best basketball but that was because of their physicality and their size, so give George Washington a lot of credit,” Rice said. “We need to hold our heads high. A lot of firsts happened for these guys this year and at some point we will look back and know it was a pretty good year.”

GW contained junior guard Justin Robinson to just six points on 2-16 shooting. Colonials head coach Mike Lonergan had 6’8” sophomore guard Yuta Watanabe guard Robinson for the entire game. However, Robinson does not think the mismatch effected his performance.

“I’ve seen longer defenders all season,” Robinson said. “Drexel threw a 6-7 defender on me. When we play pickup in the summertime, I’m going against Micah [Seaborn], who’s 6-5, or Deon [Jones], who’s 6-6. Seeing a longer defender is not anything different. I just wasn’t hitting shots tonight.”

That could be said for the entire team, who only shot 34.2% (25-73) from the floor compared to 51.9% (28-54) from George Washington.

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Men’s Lacrosse Falls to Marist in First MAAC Game

ML Loss MaristThe MU lacrosse team faced Marist College in their 2016 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opener, a thriller that featured seven ties and eight lead changes.

The Hawks (4-3, 0-1 MAAC) went behind 9-8 on a late goal with 2:36 on the clock, which proved to be too little time to equalize.  MU’s squad had six different players score a goal, including two by redshirt sophomore midfielder Dylan Schulte and freshman attacker Eamon Campbell.

Marist goalkeeper Brian Corrigan held off Monmouth’s last efforts to tie with key last minute saves of Schulte and Chris Daly.  

“After the game around the locker room was mostly anger and disappointment because we knew we had the opportunity to win the game,” junior midfielder Kevin Murphy said. “I think we showed that we’re going to compete for a MAAC championship and we need to follow this loss up with a hard week of practice and a win this weekend against Manhattan.”

Marist (2-4, 1-0 MAAC) senior attacker Joeseph Radin tallied the first two goals of the contest with back-to-back goals.  MU answered with 4:26 to go in the first quarter as sophomore attacker Bryce Wasserman assisted junior midfielder Eric Berger for his fourth goal of the season. Not long after, Campbell fed junior attacker Dan Bloodgood for a man-up goal to even the score at two. Marist answered with a goal of their own to take a 3-2 lead into the second quarter.

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Men’s Baseball Beats Number 17 ECU

BB Beats No17Coming off the program’s first ever victory against a top-10 program against the University of Virginia on Mar. 6, the MU baseball team went 4-4 over spring break.

The Hawks took one out of three against George Washington, defeated James Madison and VCU and won one game against an East Carolina team that is ranked 17th in the country.

Junior RHP Ricky Dennis took a no-hitter into the eighth for Monmouth against ECU on Mar. 20, which was broken up by a single. But the next batter lined into a 3-3-6 triple play to end the inning and the day for the 6’8” right hander. He threw eight innings, allowed the one hit, walked and hit a batter while striking out six.

“Ricky Dennis was the story of the day,” said head coach Dean Ehehalt. “He got into a great rhythm early and took it from there.”

The Hawks scored a run in four straight innings starting in the first when junior right fielder Chris Gaetano drove in junior third baseman Grant Lamberton, who led off the game with a walk. Back to back doubles by sophomore first baseman Sophomore second baseman Justin Trochiano’s first home run of the season in the fourth made it 3-0 and redshirt freshman outfielder Ryan Byrd pinch ran in the eighth and scored on junior catcher Ryan Bailey’s RBI single.

Dennis was perfect through 6 1/3 until a hit batsman broke that up, but a groundout and a fly out kept the no-hitter in tact through seven.

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Softball Goes 5-4 Over Spring Break

The MU softball team had a successful spring break this past week, going 5-4 with one rainout in ten games while taking multiple trips across the country.

The Hawks (9-8) traveled thousands of miles playing in three different locations, with games in Los Angeles, CA and DeLand and Jacksonville, FL.

“The preseason is great, especially for our sport,” head coach Shannon Salsburg said. “It gives us a chance to grow together and figure out what we need to work on, while also building a team chemistry.”

MU kicked off the break in Los Angeles with a 12-0 win against Fairleigh Dickinson University. The Blue and White were led offensively by junior outfielder Justene Reyes, who crushed two home runs and drove in four RBI, and freshman infielder Nicole Wieczorek, who recorded three hits and also added four RBI. Junior Sydney Underhill took home the win, throwing four scoreless innings.

After a pair of one-run losses to Harvard and Loyola Marymount University, the Hawks battled back to finish the tournament with two wins, beating FDU 11-2 and Harvard 6-5.

“The competition we faced this break was great,” Salsburg said. “There were three teams there that can win their division—LMU, Harvard and us.”

MU recorded a six-run sixth inning to secure their second win against FDU and walked-off on Harvard on a throwing error by the Ivy League university in the bottom of the seventh. Underhill earned wins in both games, hurling four innings and giving up no runs in each contest.

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Men’s Basketball Suffers Heartbreaking Loss to Iona in MAAC Championship Game

MBB Iona LossIt came right down to the wire, but the men’s basketball team fell short in their quest for a MAAC Championship as they were defeated by the Iona Gaels 79-76 on Monday night at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY.

The Hawks, who played this game in front of 3,115 fans, had an opportunity to tie the game with 13 seconds left. Junior guard Je’lon Hornbeak inbounded the ball to senior guard Deon Jones who gave it off to junior guard and MAAC Player of the Year Justin Robinson, who looked for a lane to the rim. Instead, he handed the ball off to an open Deon Jones who had it taken away and the Gaels escaped with the victory and their ticket to the big dance punched.

“The play was to come off the double ball-screen and throw it back to a shooter and that wasn’t open,” Robinson said postgame. “I heard Coach Rice say to go get one. I made a play to the middle of the court. Deon stepped up, so I dumped it off to him for an easy bucket and the defense made a good play.”

The game was the best in an MU uniform for Hornbeak, who finished with 20 points and was a perfect 7-7 from the floor, including 5-5 from three. Robinson finished with 14 points while freshman guard and MAAC Rookie of the Year Micah Seaborn had ten. This was the first loss all season for the Hawks when they had a lead at halftime (22-1). Both of the losses for MU over their last 15 games have come against Iona, after the Hawks defeated the Gaels 110-102 in New Rochelle on Jan. 15.

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Women’s Basketball Drops MAAC Semifinal to Fairfield, 66-59

WBB Semi FairfieldThe fifth-seeded MU women’s basketball team fell to number one-seed Quinnipiac 66-59 in the semifinals of the MAAC Tournament Sunday afternoon at the Times Union Center.

Senior guard Sarah Olson scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed five rebounds, and senior guard Jasmine Walker was the only other Hawk to reach double figures, scoring 11 points and collecting seven rebounds.

“We’re disappointed that we lost this game, but we leave the locker room with our heads held high,” head coach Jenny Palmateer said after the game. “I felt like we played as hard as we possibly could. Everyone left everything out there and in the end, that’s all you can ask for.”

It was a tight game from the start, the two teams trading four point leads in the first quarter, with MU claiming a one-point advantage after one. The teams continued to play each other close in the second quarter, as no lead exceeded one possession. There was no separation after one half of play, as the teams went into the locker room with the score tied at 28 apiece.

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Men’s and Women’s Track Place in Top-Twelve at ICA4/ECAC Championships

Track Top 12The Monmouth University men’s and women’s track teams went to Boston University this weekend to compete for the ICA4/ECAC Championships.  The women took 9th place with their third straight season in the top-10.  The men finished in 11th place, which was the fourth best in school history.

Junior Tionna Garner took home the gold in the 500m, running a time of 1:10:31, which bested her own previous school record.  This was the first ECAC gold medal for the event in school history.  The men’s team also represented five out of the Hawk’s total eight All-East members. 

“After winning conferences and going after a big race last weekend I was excited about ECACs,” Garner said.  “I knew running a fast time should come from the weekend, but I wasn’t really expecting for the results to be that great.”

Garner also participated in the 4x800 relay along with Jenna Cupp, Lindsey Bellaran and Kendal Hand, taking home second place with a time of 8:44.08.  This mark was also an MU record.  Bellaran and Cupp took fourth and fifth respectively in the mile with times of 4.51.31 and 4:52.25, earning them both All-East Honors.

“Boston’s atmosphere is always high intensity and being able to be in that atmosphere with my teammates only made the weekend better,” Cupp said.

Also earning All-East honors were the distance medley relay team of Allie Wilson, Andrea Olsen, Brianna Stratz and Molly McKeon as the squad ran to a time of 11:45.80 to claim eighth.

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Baseball Beats No. 8 Ranked UVA

BB Beats No8The MU baseball team (3-7) came away with a victory against top-ten nationally ranked program the University of Virginia (7-4) on Sunday, beating the Cavaliers 6-4.

The victory against number eight seed UVA is the first top-ten defeat in program history for the Hawks, and the first win against a nationally ranked opponent since they beat sixteenth ranked East Carolina University in 2010. 

Coming off of an eleven-inning 11-10 loss to the Cavaliers on Saturday, MU started junior pitcher Ricky Dennis on the mound, and the 6’9” right-hander held UVA to two runs in six innings, giving him his first win of the season.  Left-handed redshirt sophomore Justin Andrews tossed three innings in relief to seal the victory and earn the save.

“Our team really battled today and showed a great deal of resiliency, especially after yesterday,” head coach Dean Ehehalt said. “We answered the bell today. Ricky Dennis was excellent and of course Justin Andrews was solid.”

MU’s offense was led by junior outfielder Chris Gaetano and junior infielder Grant Lamberton, both recording three hits on the day. 

UVA struck first blood in the bottom half of the second when freshman infielder Ryan Karstetter doubled down the left field line and later scored on freshman infielder Nate Eikoff’s single. 

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Men’s Basketball Clinches Top Seed in Tournament

MBB Micah SeabornThe men’s basketball team concluded their regular season over the weekend and clinched the No. 1 seed in the MAAC Tournament with their 79-58 victory against the Rider Broncs on Friday, Feb. 26 on ESPN2.

Monmouth came out fast against the Broncs as they jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead with a jumper by junior center Chris Brady and two layups by junior guard Josh James and never looked back.

“I think tonight was an amazing night,” MU head coach King Rice said. “I’m the luckiest coach to be able to coach the young men in that locker room. It was way too long for Monmouth to be the champs. We got the first one but we’re not done.”

The Hawks did not trail once all game and had four players in double figures. MU was led by freshman guard Micah Seaborn, who finished with 19 points and six rebounds.

Junior center Zac Tillman added 12 points while junior guard Justin Robinson and sophomore guard Austin Tilghman put up 10 points each. The blue and white shot 50.8 percent (33-65) from the floor while holding the Broncs to just 37.9 percent (22-58) on the night.

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Softball Begins Season with New Head Coach

WSB Sydney UnderhillThe University’s softball team opened the 2016 season by participating in the Lancer Lead-Off Tournament this past weekend.

The new season welcomes new challenges and two new coaches for the blue and white, assistant coach Jayme O’Bryant and head coach Shannon Salsburg.

O’ Bryant will be joining the Hawks after being a graduate assistant at Alabama in 2015, while Salsburg comes to West Long Branch after a nine-year career as head coach at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.

“I’m excited to draw on things that I used to do at Bowling Green and bring them into a fun, new environment,” said Salsburg, who’s MU team finished 1-3 in their opening weekend.  “It’s been interesting to learn some new ways [of living] and figure out the Northeast area.”

Salsburg, who posted an overall record of 196-232-1 at BGSU, was named head coach of MU softball in September and will be replacing six-year head coach Louie Berndt. She was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year in 2012 and will bring a power-hitting approach to MU, as she was the only BGSU coach to have her team reach 30-plus homers in consecutive seasons.

“I definitely preach power hitting,” Salsburg said.  “But in this conference, our team will have to be more balanced.  We won’t be able to rely on power alone.”

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King Rice Signs Five-Year Deal with MU

MBB King RiceThe top sports story on campus this year has been the success of the men’s basketball team. The Hawks wrapped up their season with a 77-68 win against Niagara on Senior Day and secured the No. 1 seed in the upcoming MAAC Tournament.

It is undeniable that the expertise of King Rice, who is in his fifth season as head coach, has been a key to the team’s success.

“I always wanted to be a pro basketball player,” Rice said. “I worked hard to get to the NBA but I fell a little short. My second thing was coaching. I get to do that at a great school with great people and I couldn’t be happier.”

Prior to his coaching days, Rice played collegiate ball under the legendary Dean Smith at The University of North Carolina. Rice was recruited to Chapel Hill by current Tar Heel head coach Roy Williams when he was an assistant under Smith before he took the head coaching position at the University of Kansas in 1988.

As of Friday, Feb. 26, Rice prolonged his collegiate coaching career with a five-year contract that will keep him in West Long Branch through the 2020-21 season.

“King’s success as a head coach at Monmouth is not surprising me at all,” Williams said in an email. “He is extremely intelligent, very competitive and truly loves being a coach. He cares about his players a great deal and pushes them to reach their potential. He sees the big picture and is able to get his players to see it as well. Monmouth Basketball is one of the great stories of the season and he is the driver of that ship. I know the entire University will benefit a great deal.”

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Men’s Basketball Falls to Iona, Rebounds at St. Peter’s

MBB Austin TilghmanFour thousand five hundred and twenty two fans packed the MAC in one of the most highly anticipated home games in years. But ultimately, the men’s basketball team fell to the Iona Gaels 83-67 on Friday, Feb. 19 in front of the largest crowd in the history of the Multipurpose Activity Center.

The student section was filled an hour before the 10 p.m. tip-off on ESPNU. The Hawks came out fast and took a two point lead at the first media timeout, but the Gaels were in control the rest of the way.

Iona responded by going on a 19-0 run and took a 19 point lead into the locker room while holding MU to just 28 percent (9-32) in the first half and 2-11 from three. MU’s 25 first half points were the fewest they have scored in a half all season.

“They scored and we didn’t,” junior guard Justin Robinson said when asked about Iona’s 19-0 run. “We put our heads down defensively, which is something we’ve reiterated that we can’t do and we did that for an extended period of time. It’s not just Iona. If you do that against any team in the country, they’re going to capitalize on it. We have to learn from that.”

The Hawks came out in the second half by going on a 7-4 run to cut the deficit to 16. Iona extended the lead back to 20 with 15:20 to play. A pair of layups by sophomore guard Austin Tilghman made it a 15 point game with 10:58 remaining.

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Women’s Basketball Wins Two on the Road

WBB Tyrese PurvisThe MU women’s basketball team defeated Canisius 81-71 Sunday afternoon at the Koessler Athletic Center. Junior guard Tyese Purvis led all scorers with 21 points, including five three-pointers, setting a new season high for the Hawks. MU improved their record to 11-16 (9-9 MAAC), moving into a tie for sixth place with Siena.

“I shot the ball well today,” Purvis said after the game. “My teammates definitely found me a lot out on the three-point area. We set a lot of great screens to get ourselves open, and we held it down on the defensive end as well.”

The Hawks put three other players in double figures, including senior guard Sarah Olson (16 points), senior guard Jasmine McCall (14 points) and junior forward Christina Mitchell (12 points, seven rebounds). Senior guard Jasmine Walker added seven points, seven rebounds, and 4 assists.

Canisius opened the first two minutes with a 5-4 lead, but MU responded with a 13-0 run. After the Golden Griffins cut the MU lead down to single digits, McCall scored the last five points of the first quarter, making the score 25-11 after one.

The Hawks continued to extend their lead in the second, as Mitchell hit two consecutive shots to make the lead 18. Canisius was able to once again bring the lead down to single digits, making it a 36-27 game with 1:36 remaining in the first half. McCall scored again, and Canisius sunk one out of two free throws to make the halftime score 38-28.

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Track Sweeps MAAC Championship

MU Track 2016 ChampionsThe MU men’s and women’s track teams each swept the field and took home the gold at the 2016 MAAC Conference Championship on Sunday.

This is the third year in a row that the men and women’s teams have swept the competition and been crowned MAAC conference champions. MU has now swept their last five conference championships, including two Northeast Conference championships.

The meet took place at the 168th Street New Balance Armory Track and Field Center in the Bronx, NY.

The men’s team took gold scoring 170 total points and the women got the win tallying 205 points.

“It was a very hard-fought, well-rounded win for our team,” head coach Joe Compagni said. “We pulled together and competed tough, and with a great team attitude.”

Junior Lindsey Bellaran was named women’s Indoor Track Most Outstanding performer. She individually won the 800 (2:10:29), and took second in the mile (4:48:63), which is a Hawks school record.  She also anchored the victory for the DMR team, which set a new MAAC record of 11:44:68.

 “It was a great experience,” Bellaran said. “The energy was amazing. I definitely attribute my success to my coaches and teammates. It’s so easy to go out and leave it all on the track for them.”

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Baseball Beats Penn State in Season Opener

BB MU Vs PSThe MU baseball team opened their 2016 season at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, NC this past weekend, going 1-3 in four games.

The Hawks picked up a victory on Opening Day against Penn State by a score of 3-1. Senior southpaw Frank Trimarco got the ball and hurled six innings, giving up one run on five hits while striking out five.

Gloucester County College transfer Ben Hoffman debuted in the eighth inning, escaping a one out, bases loaded jam by getting two batters to foul out to first base. After hitting the first batter in the ninth, Hoffman retired the next three Nittany Lions in order to record his first career save at MU. Redshirt sophomore first baseman Shaine Hughes set the tone on offense, going 2-3 with an RBI.

“I am really proud of the way we played today,” said head coach Dean Ehehalt. “Frank Trimarco was outstanding. He pitched out of a jam or two and really set the tone. Ben Hoffman got five huge outs to close it down.”

Saturday saw the Hawks get swept in a double-header (8-5, 8-4) against the Bryant Bulldogs, with the second game being 17 innings, the longest game the team has played since March 9, 2008, a 16 inning affair against UCF.

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Men’s Basketball Wins Eight Straight

MB Micah SeabornThe magical season for the men’s basketball team continued after they stormed back from a 14 point deficit with 3:58 to go to take down the Rider Broncs (10-16, 6-9) in front of a sellout crowd of 1,650 at Alumni Gym in Lawrenceville on Feb. 12.

Monmouth went on a 17-2 run to close out the game after trailing by as many as 14 points in the second half. Junior point guard Justin Robinson put the blue and white on top for good as his 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds remaining gave MU a 79-78 lead.

“Big time players want the ball at the end of the game,” Malcom Huckaby said on the ESPNU broadcast after Robinson’s clutch shot. “I’ll say that again: big time players want the ball at the end of the game. Some guys don’t embrace the moment, the great ones do. Justin Robinson is one of the best guards in all of college basketball. Period.”

The Broncs were unable to convert a last second shot and the Hawks escaped with their third consecutive single digit victory against the Broncs on the road, dating back to November 2006.

“Our kids made incredible plays,” head coach King Rice said. “To come that far back and get it done in regulation is a credit to these young men.”

The Hawks came out flying and took a 44-35 lead into halftime while holding Rider to just 12-31 from the floor and 2-12 from three. But the Broncs left the locker room looking like a different team, as they went on a 31-9 run to begin the second half and made good on their first seven 3-pointers to give them a 13 point advantage with 11:50 to play.

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Women’s Basketball Splits with Fairfield, Manhattan

WB Jasimine McCallThe women’s basketball team fell to the Fairfield Stags 80-70 Sunday afternoon at Alumni Hall in Fairfield, CT.

Senior guard Jasmine McCall led the Hawks with 16 points off the bench, with senior guard Jamiyah Bethune contributing 15 points, four rebounds, and three assists. With the loss, the team’s record fell to 9-16 (7-9 MAAC), while Fairfield improved to 15-10 (10-6 MAAC).

“They went inside a lot, and we were undersized so that worked out in their favor,” Bethune said after the game. Fairfield scored 34 of their 80 points in the paint, taking advantage of the mismatches inside, having three players over six feet.

Fairfield came out with hot shooting, beginning the game on a 7-0 run. MU quickly responded with an 11-3 run of their own to make the score 11-10 at the first media timeout. The two teams would remain close throughout the remainder of the first quarter, ending the first 20-17 in favor of the Stags.

The Stags opened the game up in the second quarter, their lead increasing to eight at the media timeout, and 13 at halftime. McCall and junior guard Tyese Purvis led the Hawks with eight points at the intermission, while Fairfield had three players already in double digit scoring, junior forwards Casey Smith (13), Kelsey Carey (10) and senior guard Kristin Schatzlein (10).

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Women’s Lacrosse Opens Season at Towson

W LacrosseThe MU women’s lacrosse team played their first game of the 2016 season against Towson last Wednesday, falling to the Tigers, 9-1.

However, despite the loss, first-year head coach Eileen Ghent is happy to get back on the field and believes her team is ready to make a big impact.

“Even though we lost, we played at a high-speed, and that’s what we want to do as a team,” Ghent said.  “That’s why we play such a good pre-conference schedule—to get us prepared for the season.  Mistakes are acceptable, as long as we have good energy, and play at a fast pace.”

The women’s lacrosse team will kick off conference play on Mar. 26 against Siena.

Ghent took over this year for previous head coach Denise Wescott after serving as an assistant coach for the Hawks the past three years.  She is surprised with how well the transition has gone, thanking Wescott for providing her with great preparation.

“It has been a lot smoother than I thought it would be,” Ghent said.  “Denise [Wescott] gave me a lot of responsibility as an assistant coach, which really helped my development and prepared me to take on this position.”

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Baseball Set to Start Season in Cary, NC

MB Anthony CiavarellaWhile winter remains in full swing in the northeast, the Monmouth baseball team is ready to get their 2016 season started down south.

After finishing 22-24 (14-10) a season ago, the blue and white begin their season with a trip to the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, NC where they will open up against Penn State on Friday, Feb. 19. A double-header against former Northeast Conference rival Bryant will follow on Saturday and a matchup against Army West Point on Sunday completes the team’s first weekend of action.

“We start the season down south for the better weather, but the trip also brings the players closer together as a team,” said head coach Dean Ehehalt, who will be entering his 23rd season at the helm in 2016.

The highlight of the Hawks’ 2016 schedule is a three-game series on March 3-6 against the defending College World Series Champion Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville, VA. This will be the third time in five years that Monmouth will take on the Cavaliers. Ehehalt says he purposely loads the schedule early in the season so the team can face the best possible competition.

“We’ve always played a pretty demanding pre-conference schedule and this year is no different,” Ehehalt said. “If you look at our schedule over the years, our last five to eight years we have played at least twelve games against teams ranked in the top ten. I know at least nine against Virginia and Vanderbilt who are the last two National Champions. We try to play in a regional setting at some point early in the season. This way, it gives us some good feedback where we are as a team.”

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Women’s Basketball Fights Back to Beat Canisius, 79-75

W Basketball Sarah Olsen

The women’s basketball team beat the Canisius Golden Griffins 79-75 Sunday afternoon at the Multipurpose Activity Center, recording their first win of the season after trailing at halftime.

Senior guards Sarah Olson and JamiyahBethune led the way for the Hawks, with Olson scoring 24 points and Bethune recording her first double-double in her career at MU with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

“It’s just another day,” Bethune said of her performance. “I’m happy I got the double-double, but that means that I need to work harder, set the standard for myself and be consistent.”

For the Griffins, senior forward Crysta Porter had 24 points with nine rebounds and freshman guard Maria Welch dominated from behind the arch, hitting all six of her field goals from 3-point range—ending the game with 20 points and seven rebounds.

With the win, MU is now 8-15 (6-8 MAAC), while Canisius falls to 9-14 (4-10 MAAC).

“We have to be more aware of her on the court,” Bethune said about Welch. “We lost her a lot during the game and she made us pay for it. Next game we’re going to lock in on her more.”

In the first quarter, MU got off to a fast start with a 7-0 run which included a deep three-pointer by Olson, forcing Canisius to take an early timeout. The Hawks used an effective full court press defense and forced eight total turnovers in the first.

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Men’s Basketball Keeps Rolling with Two Conference Wins

M Basketball Justin RobinsonThe men’s basketetball team got a taste of what’s to come in the MAAC Tournament as they defeated the Siena Saints on Monday, Feb. 2 93-87 at Times Union Center in Albany, NY as one of their two victories over the past week.

The arena has hosted the MAAC Tournament 11 times since 1990 and will host it again in 2016 from Mar. 3-7. Seven thousand and sixteen fans were in attendance to see junior guard Justin Robinson score a career-high 36 points, becoming the sixth Hawk to do so and the first since Rahsaan Johnson had 40 points in 2001. Siena went into the contest an undefeated 9-0 at home, but MU’s depth proved to be too much as Robinson was one of five Monmouth players to put up double-figures.

“Our kids got going tonight on offense, especially Justin (Robinson) early,” said head coach King Rice. “Both teams can really score the ball and fortunately for us, we scored more than them tonight.”

With the conference tournament being hosted at Siena’s home arena and both teams playing as well as they have been, it has some people thinking that this game could have been a preview of the MAAC Championship game on Mar. 7.

“When Siena gets rolling like they are now, the building fills up and in a month from now, if we play them, the building will be full,” Rice said. “Hopefully, it’s not going to be until Monday night, and we would be in for a hard battle.”

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Men’s Soccer Alum Derek Luke Signed by FC Cincinnati

Derek LukeFormer MU men’s soccer captain and left back Derek Luke signed his first professional contract with FC Cincinnati of the United Soccer League just over a week ago in Ohio.

“Realizing that I signed my first contract was a big moment in my life filled with excitement and a little bit of nervousness,” said Luke, a 22 year-old Bridgewater, N.J. native. “I was very excited of course because it has been a lifelong dream of mine to play professionally, but it also meant moving away from my family and friends back in Jersey. Although, it was an easy decision when the opportunity to play for FC.C. came knocking.”

Luke spent his youth career with the Player Development Academy before joining the Hawks in West Long Branch. The young aspiring professional hit the ground running his freshman year on the Great Lawn playing in all 18 games, starting 16 of them. He finished the season with three goals and one assist, none more notable than his right footed effort which found the top corner against Central Connecticut in the semi-finals of the Northeast Conference Tournament. The goal helped him earn a NEC All-Tournament Team selection in only his first year suited up for MU.

Sophomore year was a wash. After suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the second game of the non-conference slate, Luke was forced to take a medical redshirt. Any injury of such severity puts that much more emphasis on a productive offseason.

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Men’s Basketball Earns Two Conference Wins

Josh JamesFor the first time in nine years, the men’s basketball team picked up a victory in Hamden, CT as the Hawks defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats 66-51 on Jan. 28.

Defense dominated the first half as MU took a 27-20 lead into halftime, 20 points being the fewest they have given up in the first half so far this season. The Hawks continued to play lock down defense in the second half as they held the Bobcats to 15-69 (21.7%) from the floor for the game. Monmouth shot only 33.9% but it was enough for the program to pick up their first victory at TD Bank Sports Center since it opened in 2007. Junior guard Justin Robinson led the scoring with 13 points while junior center Chris Brady added 11 points and seven rebounds.

“I’m very excited about our kids fighting to get this win,” head coach King Rice said. “Our guys are continuing to believe in each other and our defense was tremendous.”

The Hawks returned to their home court on Jan. 30 against Saint Peter’s where they defeated the Peacocks 73-57 in front of a sellout crowd of 4,105. Robinson led MU with 18 points and junior guard Collin Stewart added 17.

Additionally, Stewart is still recovering from a sprained ankle that he suffered in the Jan. 24 matchup against Marist. He was wheeled to the press conference after the game while sitting on top of a food cart, ankle wrapped up with an ice pack. However, there was never a doubt in his mind he was playing in this game.

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Women’s Basketball Loses Two, Olson Scores 1000th Career Point

Sarah OlsonThe women’s basketball team came up just short Saturday afternoon, losing 68-60 to Fairfield University at the Multipurpose Activity Center. Sophomore guard Dana Carbone led the Hawks in scoring with 14 points, 12 of which came off of three-point shots. However, the main milestone of the day came from senior guard Sarah Olson, who scored her 1,000th career point in the game.

“It feels awesome,” Olson said. “It is definitely the exclamation point for my career. It is a great accolade to have.” Olson started her career at NJIT before transferring to Monmouth after the 2012-13 season. She had to sit out a year after the change due to NCAA regulations.

“It speaks to who she is as a player,” head coach Jenny Palmateer said. “It also shows how valuable she has been to us, and we’ve only had her for two years. I’m really excited and happy for her.” Olson finished the day with 11 points and became the second Monmouth basketball player to reach the feat this season, with men’s guard Justin Robinson accomplishing it on Jan. 18.

After a tightly-contested first half, MU built a six point lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Fairfield would respond, however, as the Stags went on a 12-2 run and never looked back. The Hawks then cut the deficit to 4 points at the 6:55 mark in the fourth quarter, but the Stags would answer with another 12 point run, opening the lead to 13 points with 2:29 remaining in the game. A couple three-point shots from Carbone would not be enough, however, as the Hawks fell 68-60 at home.

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Men’s Lacrosse Opens Up Season Against LIU Post

MU LIU LacrosseThe MU men’s lacrosse team kicked off their 2015-16 season on Saturday with a scrimmage against LIU Post on Kessler Field.

After the scrimmage, where no score was reported, head coach Brian Fisher is confident his team will be ready for their first official game against Jacksonville Feb. 14 in Jacksonville, FL.

“The preseason is a grind,” Fisher said.  “The trip [to Jacksonville] will be fun.  It will be good to have some nice weather, and it will be an evenly matched game.”

Last year, MU finished with a 6-8 record, going 3-3 in conference play. All three conference wins were acquired at home. The season earned them a fourth place finish in the MAAC and a playoff bid, where they lost in the first round to #1 seed Marist, 11-6. 

“Home games are always fun,” Fisher said.  “You get the support of the fans, it’s not easy going into a new environment and taking on a team on their home turf.  A lot of our games on the road were close, tough losses.”

The Hawks will lose four seniors from last year, including Garrett Conaway, Ryan Schwartz, Ryan Horsch and Zach Johannes.  However, upperclassmen returning from last year will be graduate student John Castellano and a powerhouse junior class which boasts 24 members.

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Men’s and Women’s Track Ranked Top 10 in Mid-Atlantic

Tionna GarnerThe men’s and women’s track and field teams have earned some tremendous accolades recently, being ranked sixth and eighth in the Mid-Atlantic Region by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

In addition, the men’s team was placed at 46th in the country.

“It’s a great thing, but we still know we have a ton of work to do,” head coach Joe Compagni said about the rankings.  “We’re happy with the numbers and the rankings, but we need to continue to get stronger.”

The Hawks backed up their national and regional status Saturday, posting some great times at the Penn State National in State College, PA.  Junior Dylan Capwell earned fourth place in the 800-meter with a time of 1:47.70, in one of the fastest races in the NCAA this year.  In addition, junior Tionna Garner placed 10th overall in the 800-meter with an MU record mark of 2:09.46.

“They are the leaders of a tightly knit distance group,” Compagni said.  “We knew coming into the weekend they would be lining up with some of the best runners around, and they really pulled through.”

But that isn’t where the Hawks were done breaking school records.  Juniors Lindsey Bellaran and Jenna Cupp placed eighth and eleventh in the mile with times of 4:50.56 and 4:53.69, respectively.  Both earned ECAC qualifying marks and spots at the top of MU’s record books.

Other ECAC qualifiers include sophomore Allie Wilson, who finished first in the unseeded 1000-meter race with a time of 2:55.33.  Freshman Brianna Stratz placed third in the 500-meter race at 1:16.04, and senior Kendal Hand earned seventh place in the 800 with a time of 2:13.55.

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Men’s Basketball Continues Winning Ways over Winter Break

Men Basketball Justin RobinsonAfter an impressive nonconference resume with road or neutral site victories over UCLA, USC, Notre Dame, Georgetown, and Rutgers early in the season, the men’s basketball team has padded their resume for a high seed in the MAAC Tournament and, possibly, an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament over winter break.

The Hawks, who will play Quinnipiac on Thursday, Jan. 28 at the TD Bank Sports Center, went 6-1 during the break and have played Manhattan and Marist since then, falling to the Jaspers 78-71 at Draddy Gymnasium on Thursday, Jan. 21 and defeating the Red Foxes 83-72 on Jan. 24 at home. MU picked up an impressive 110-102 victory at Iona on Jan. 15, snapping The Gaels’ 26 game winning streak at the Hynes Athletic Center. MU’s other loss was a 91-84 defeat to the Army Black Knights up at West Point, NY on Dec. 28.

Junior guard Justin Robinson became the 22nd player in Monmouth history to score 1,000 career points in the Hawks 85-69 victory over Siena on Jan. 18.

“It puts you in the record books of the school and it shows that he’s a very versatile player,” head coach King Rice said of his junior guard’s accomplishment. “I’m sure he will continue to work his way up the scoring list. But the kid that he is, Justin wants what’s best for our program. He would give up all the points if we could win more and continue to win more games next year. That’s just who he is as a young man. That’s what makes him so special to our program and everybody knows we are lucky to have him.”

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Men’s Rivalry with Iona Heating Up

Men Basketball Micah SeabornThere is now an official rivalry in men’s MAAC basketball between the Monmouth Hawks and the Iona Gaels.

After MU’s 110-102 victory that snapped Iona’s 26 game winning streak at home on Jan. 15, there was an altercation when the teams lined up to shake hands after the game. Iona junior forward Jordan Washington slapped Monmouth junior center Chris Brady across the face. A scuffle followed the act and security had to be involved to separate the two teams.

“It was very unfortunate to end the game like that,” Monmouth head coach King Rice said. “We are just trying to be one of the teams at the top and you have to go through a lot of things to get there. This was a big win for our program.”

MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor released the following statement regarding the incident:

“I have reviewed the issues that arose out of the January 15, 2016 men’s basketball game between Iona College and Monmouth University, and I [have] elected to have both institutions take internal necessary actions to prevent further issues and protect student athlete wellbeing.”

Iona suspended Washington for two games as a result of the incident.

Prior to that game, fifth year Iona head coach Tim Cluess had some interesting words to say about the Monmouth Bench.

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MU Track Strives During Storm

Track Dylan CapwellAs storm Jonas was making headlines this weekend, the competitors of Monmouth University’s men’s and women’s track and field teams also made titles for themselves at the NYC Gotham Cup at Ocean Breeze on Staten Island on Saturday, Jan. 23, and the Tiger Open at Princeton University on Sunday, Jan. 24.

 “We had more than two dozen athletes hit their best performance of the season if not their best performance ever at our meets this weekend, “head coach Joseph Compagni said. “That’s what we need, honestly, is to see their work pay off with continued progress and positive results.”

At the NYC Gotham Cup, juniors Andrea Olsen and Tionna Garner both earned qualifying ECAC marks for the 60-meter hurdles and the 400-meter races respectively. Olsen placed second with a time of 8.82, and Garner came in third overall with a time of 55.68.

In addition, senior Sydney Engelberger, junior Ashley Grenger, junior Jessica Ball, and junior Molly McKeon, sped into first place in the women’s distance medley relay with the victory time of 12:14.72. Senior Nina Poccia, a distance runner for MU, remarked on the event, “There were many personal records, (PRs), and good performances all around. There were also many season bests and ECAC qualifications on the women’s team.”

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Women’s Basketball Falls to Iona

Woman Basketball Christina MitchellThe Iona women’s basketball team defeated the Hawks 64-49 Sunday night at the Multipurpose Activity Center.

Senior guards Jasmine Walker and Jasmine McCall came off the bench to lead Monmouth in scoring with nine points each.  Junior forward Christina Mitchell led the team in rebounding with 10 boards while also recording three blocks and three steals.

For Iona, senior forward Joy Adams fronted the charge with 20 points, 15 rebounds and four steals, while junior guard Marina Lizarazu and sophomore guard Philecia Gilmore each netted 13 points.  With the loss, the Hawks fall to 6-12 (4-5 MAAC), while the Gaels improve to 12-9 (8-2 MAAC).

“She’s a great player,” said McCall of Adams.  “She has really good post moves that made her really effective against us.”

In the first quarter, both teams struggled offensively, shooting under 30 percent from the floor and scoring a combined 18 points.  And although Monmouth would take a lead with under two minutes in the half, Iona proceeded to put together a 23-4 run spanning into the beginning of the third quarter—never to trail again.

MU head coach Jenny Palmateer credited the Hawks’ lack of scoring and Iona’s execution for the Gaels’ strong start to the second half.

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Brad Brach Succeeds In Major League Baseball

Brad Brach 1In 2014, the Baltimore Orioles won the American League East with a 96-66 record and advanced to the American League Championship Series. One of the key members of their bullpen was Brad Brach, who pitched for the Hawks from 2005-2008.

“It was pretty much indescribable, I get chills every time I think about it,” Brach said in a phone interview. “It was just one of those experiences that you want to go through again. Once you get to play in [the postseason], you don’t realize how exciting it is; how into every single pitch every single fan and player is. Getting a little bit of a taste of it last year just makes you want to get back.”

Brach recorded the win in game two of the American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers in his first career postseason appearance. He recorded the final two outs in the eighth inning and Camden Yards went into a frenzy shortly thereafter in a moment he will always remember.

“One moment I will never forget was in Game Two of the ALDS against Detroit. I got the last couple outs and we go back in the dugout. We were down three runs going into the eighth inning and Delmon Young hit a bases clearing double to put us ahead in that game and it wasn’t like we were major leaguers anymore. It was like we were little leaguers playing for the first time ever. Everyone in the dugout was jumping and screaming like little girls. The whole stadium felt like it was shaking and it was just absolutely incredible.”

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Monmouth Basketball Downs Purple Eagles

Justin RobinsonThe Monmouth men’s basketball team defeated the Niagara Purple Eagles 56-42 Sunday afternoon at the Gallagher Center at Niagara University. Redshirt freshman guard Micah Seaborn led the Hawks with 13 points, and senior guard Deon Jones had a solid offensive day with 11 points and six rebounds. Monmouth also received contributions from junior guard Justin Robinson, who had eight points and four rebounds, and freshman forward Diago Quinn, who had six points and three rebounds in his first career start.

Seaborn credited the team’s success to their energy and mindset “Today we knew we had to come out and play the best defense we have played so far and couldn’t have a slow start. I felt the main reason we won was because of the energy we came out with”. Seaborn’s 13 points led all Monmouth players, and was one short of the game high of 14 by Niagara’s Emile Blackman.

The Hawks rattled off eight straight points to begin the game, coming from a Robinson layup, a Seaborn basket, and two fast-break scores from junior guard Je’lon Hornbeak. Monmouth extended their lead to 14-3 halfway through a low-scoring first half. Niagara cut the Monmouth lead to six, but the Hawks responded with a 13-7 scoring run to make the halftime score 27-15.

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Small In Stature Large In Talent: Justin Robinson

MU Purple EaglesJunior guard Justin Robinson has been proving people wrong his entire life. Just look at when the Hawks star player, listed at 5’8”, reflected back after the team’s victory over The University of Southern California in the third place game of the AdvoCare Invitational.

“One incident that I remember was when we were at the Hoop Group. I played pretty well and a coach came up to me and asked if I wanted to play for him. I asked him what school he was from and it was a Division III program. I told him ‘I’m not going to close the door on anything, but I’m hoping to get a Division I offer’ and he kind of laughed in my face. That’s just been my whole life; to prove people wrong and let my play speak.”

Robinson got his Division I offer from Monmouth and made an immediate impact since arriving in West Long Branch in the fall of 2013. He started 25 of the 28 games he played in his freshman year and was named First Team All-MAAC in his sophomore year.

He recently broke Michael Beasley’s record for scoring at the AdvoCare Invitational by scoring 77 points in the three games and took home the tournament’s MVP honors. Head coach King Rice has enjoyed every second of Robinson’s career at Monmouth.

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Monmouth Bench Gains National Fame

MU Bench 1The college basketball season may be young, however Monmouth University has a lot to celebrate. With recent wins over the No. 17 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the University of Southern California Trojans at the Advocare Invitational basketball tournament over Thanksgiving, the team has gained the nation’s attention. However, the team’s most noise has been coming from their own bench rather than their fan base.

“I didn’t expect us to go viral but it is great publicity for a great university,” said junior forward Greg Noack, one fourth of the famed Monmouth Bench.

The Bench, led by sophomore guard Dan Pillari, includes freshman guards Louie Pillari and Tyler Robinson along with injured Noack. Throughout the televised tournament, the Bench has been bringing an energy to the court that may just be what this team needs to continue their success.

Their celebrations have gone viral, featured on Instagram and Twitter accounts such as ESPN, Barstool Sports and CBS College Basketball, along with various recognition from athletes such as Frank Kaminsky III of the Charlotte Hornets literally calling the Monmouth Bench his spirit animal. The choreographed Hawks will put on routines on the bench to support their teammates whenever it is needed.

“It helps the school shed light to a very good and very special basketball team and I am very proud to be a part of it,” said Dan Pillari.

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Women’s Basketball Dismantles Niagara

The women’s basketball defeated Niagara University 83-60 Sunday afternoon in West Long Branch, NJ. Senior guard Jamiyah Bethune scored a team-high 20 points while grabbing eight rebounds and four assists. Monmouth also received double-digit points from junior guard Tyese Purvis (13) and senior guard Sarah Olson (16). Junior forward Christina Mitchell also contributed nine points and seven rebounds. It is the first conference win for Monmouth in the young season.

Olson was on fire from three-point range, make five of 11 shots from beyond the arch, accounting for 15 of her 16 points. “I think it was just a matter of her not getting rushed,” Head Coach Jenny Palmateer said after the game. “Our players did a great job finding her and getting her the ball when she needed it”. Olson had one of her best games of the season, adding two rebounds, two assists, and two steals to her 16 points.

Olson credited her success to the team’s overall morale and performance, “The team’s energy was unbelievable this morning and before the game. We were all on the same page and ready to go. We said let’s pick it up, it’s conference play and it’s now or never.’” The team as a whole scored 83 points, which is their highest total scored in a non-overtime game.

Monmouth opened the game red hot, shooting 52.9 percent from the field in the first quarter. Monmouth forced nine Niagara turnovers in the first quarter, and capitalized by scoring nine points off of those turnovers. The Hawks did not stop there, as they opened up a 41-32 lead at halftime. Bethune and Olson each had ten points at the half, while Niagara was guided all throughout the first half by sophomore forward Kaylee Stroemple, who led all scorers with 12 points.

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Women’s Basketball Pick Up Two Losses Over Break

Women Basketball 1 2015After losing a close game in overtime to Lehigh University a week earlier, the upstart Monmouth women’s basketball fell to Robert Morris University 60-47 in the 2015 home opener. The Hawks got off to a slow start, scoring only two points in the first 4:40 of the game, shooting 1-6 (17 percent) from the field. Senior guard Jasmine Walker hit for three sparking the Hawks offense, who went on a 5-0 scoring run to cut the Colonials’ lead to 1. Robert Morris countered with a 6-0 scoring run of their own to close out the quarter, making it 18-11 after the first.

The Colonials opened the second quarter on another quick 7-0 run, building their largest lead of the night before forcing the Hawks to call timeout. Monmouth began to turn on their press defense, which forced multiple Colonial turnovers. The Hawks were unable to capitalize, suffering from another extended scoring drought, this one lasting 5:42. A three pointer from sophomore forward Dana Carbone and a layup from senior guard Jamiyah Bethune cut the deficit to 9 points at halftime for Monmouth.

The Hawks received a major boost from their defense, which kept them in the game despite shooting 27 percent from the field in the first half. Monmouth head coach Jenny Palmateer was pleased with her team’s efforts in the new style “I love it, I think it is going to be our bread and butter. The hard part is that we have to score to get in it, so we have to become more efficient offensively so that we can really get in fully.” The Hawks only scored 20 points in the first half, led by Walker who contributed five points.

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Providence Enjoys Home Court Advantage, Defeats MU 71-59

Women Basketball 2 2015The women’s basketball team fell to Providence this past Saturday afternoon at Alumni Hall to a tune of 71-59. Junior guard Tyese Purvis and sophomore forward Dana Carbone netted a collective 24 points for MU. Senior guard Jasmine Walker earned 10 points and 10 rebounds on the night while seniors Jamiyah Bethune and Sarah Olson each tabbed eight. The loss puts the Blue and White at 1-3 so far this season.

“We have been in some tough games, two going to overtime, and each one has helped us prepare for what we will face in conference play,” said Head Coach Jenny Palmateer. “Our record reflects a challenging non-conference schedule that is designed to help us achieve our season goals.

The Hawks opened up scoring, snagging six of the first eight points scored. MU held its lead until the eighth minute of play, when the Friars broke the tie, making it 13-10. Providence’s Jovana ‘Yoyo’ Nogic and Erica Meyer contributed to the Friar lead until Olsen added a three-pointer for the Hawks. The first quarter ended in favor of the Friars, 16-13.

Walker was put on the line in the first minute of the second quarter, finishing both shots for MU. But Providence responded with the next seven points. With just over seven minutes left in the half the Hawks were down 15-23. Sarah Beal put in a layup and a pair of foul shots to cushion the Friars’ lead. The clock dropped under a minute and MU was trailing 25-34 when Purvis brought some life back to the Hawks. Her three-pointer closed the gap and the half, making it 34-28.

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Men’s Basketball Stuns Nation

Men Basketball 2015The Monmouth men’s basketball team returns home from the Advocare Invitational with two huge wins over no. 17 Notre Dame and University of Southern California. Their only loss throughout the tournament was to Dayton during the semi-finals. The tournament, presented by ESPN, was a weekend long event beginning Thursday, Nov. 26 and ending Sunday, Nov. 29.

The first game began with high energy as the Hawks defeated no. 17 Notre Dame for their first battle of the weekend. Not only was this the first time in Hawk history that blue and white defeated a Top 25 ranked team but the win also marked the 900th total victory in Monmouth basketball.

“This was an extremely exciting moment for our kids and our program. Our kids played hard, believed in each other and just weren’t going to be denied tonight. When you believe in each other, anything can happen,”  said Head Coach King Rice on the victory over Notre Dame.

The Fighting Irish fell to the Hawks as Monmouth got the ball with 32 seconds remaining and tied the score at 68-68. Junior guard, Justin Robinson killed time on the clock right before driving to the right side of the basket and drawing a foul from Notre Dame’s Jackson. Robinson connected both free throws with 3.6 seconds to make the final score 70-68 and the Hawks nation shocking upset.

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Football Downs Gardner-Webb 23-9 in Final Game of Season

The Hawks completed their second season of Big South football on a high note as they topped the Runnin’ Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb on Nov. 21 by a score of 23-9.

MU opened the scoring on their first drive as redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Williams completed a second and one pass to junior wide receiver Darren Ambush for a 49 yard touchdown to cap a quick five play, 80 yard drive and put the Hawks up early 7-0. Monmouth scored again two drives later on a two yard run by junior running back Zack Welch giving them a 14-0 lead after the first quarter. Gardner-Webb added the only points to the board in the second quarter, a 35 yard field goal by sophomore kicker Paul Schumacher that capped an 18 play, 56 yard drive but the Hawks had the lead going into halftime, 14-3.

Schumacher added two more field goals in the Runnin’ Bulldogs first two drives of the second half, but the Hawks answered with a big play of their own as Williams threw a strike in the end zone to redshirt freshman wide receiver Reggie White Jr. after a fourth down conversion for 36 yards and a 21-9 MU advantage. Monmouth recorded a safety in the fourth quarter as sophomore kicker/punter Matt White was able to pin the Gardner-Webb offense at their own two yard line and freshman linebacker Tre Nelson recorded a sack in the end zone for the safety, adding two more points to the board. Senior cornerback Joe Johnson recorded the game-sealing interception on the second-to-last play of the game.

“It was a great way to end the season, to finish third in the Big South in only our second season says a lot about our players,” Monmouth head coach Kevin Callahan said. “Today was a terrific defensive effort. There were a number of times we were backed up deep in our own territory and we held them to field goals or forced a fourth down stop. I’m very happy with the way the kids played and kept rising to the occasion.”

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MU Falls To USC, 101-90

The Monmouth men’s basketball team battled back from a 16-point first half deficit to go in front multiple times in a game that saw the lead change 12 times, but eventually fell to Pac-12 member USC on Monday night at the Galen Center, 101-90 on Monday night in Los Angeles. Junior guard Justin Robinson scored a career-high 28 points in the loss that drops Monmouth to 1-1 on the season after splitting a pair of Pac-12 matchups in Southern California. The Trojans improve to 2-0 this year.

“I have to give USC a lot of credit,” said head coach King Rice. “[USC head coach] Andy Enfield had his team prepared for what we do with a short time to turn it around. I’m very proud of our kids, and I probably should have helped them more by calling a few timeouts to try to get them a bucket here or there.”

USC used a 17-8 run in the final 3:29 to pull away after Chris Brady corralled a weakside rebound and put it back to cut the Trojan lead to two. Back-to-back triples from Katin Reinhardt and Elijah Stewart just 35 seconds apart stretched the lead to eight, and USC made nine free throws after that point to secure the win.

Monmouth led by as many as three in the second half when Austin Tilghman put home a hard drive through the lane to make it 63-60 with 11:07 remaining. Neither team led by more than four throughout the next four minutes, with Jordan McLaughlin scoring on two of three trips with a Nikola Jovanovic layup sandwiched in between. MU answered to tie the game at 66 when Collin knocked down a deep wing three with the shot clock expiring with 8:56 remaining.

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Men’s Basketball Splits Trips To California

Monmouth men’s basketball team opened up their season with an 84-81 overtime win on the road at the University of California Los Angeles Friday night. The team traveled 3,000 miles across the country to become the first Hawk’s to beat a PAC-12 opponent in school history. 

“This win is for our school, our program, our Athletic Department, our President,” said a humbled Coach King Rice following the victory. “This was a momentous win for us.  I really have to thank Steve (Alford) for this. We played in this tournament and I begged Steve over the summer to play us. I felt like something like this would be good for our program. I’ve known Steve and Coach Broussard for a very long time.”

During the final 18.9 seconds in overtime, senior guard Collin Stewart grabbed the offensive rebound and went to the line making both free throws giving Monmouth an 82-81 lead over the Bruins. UCLA got the ball back down the court and freshman guard Aaron Holiday attempted a three-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game but failed.

Junior guard Je’lon Hornbeak used the miss to his advantage for the rebound and scored leaving the Hawk’s with the 84-81 win out in California. 

“We just basically stuck to what we know. Once they pulled ahead of us, we just kept our poise and got the win,” said junior Collin Stewart.

At the start of overtime, Monmouth went down 80-75 until junior center Zac Tillman made four free throws on back to back possessions to bring the Hawks within one. Redshirt-freshman guard Michah Seaborn then drew a foul making one on the line to tie the game at 80.

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Women’s Basketball Falls to Lehigh in OT

Womens Basketball 11 18 2015The women’s basketball team opened its 2015-16 season this past Friday, falling to the Lehigh University Mountain Hawks 95-88 in overtime in Stabler Arena. Senior guard Jamiyah Bethune’s career-high 22 points and senior guard Sarah Olsen’s five three-point field goals were not enough to continue the programs 6-2 overall record over Lehigh.

“It was a shame we came out on the losing end. We forced 25 turnovers, got 100 shots off, matched Lehigh with points in the paint and only turned the ball over 11 times. We played Monmouth basketball…” said Head Coach Jenny Palmateer.

The Blue and White came out with an early five-point lead, until Lehigh responded with a quick six points. Senior guard Jasmine Walker, junior forward Christina Mitchell and freshman gurad McKinzee Barker each made contributions for MU. In time, Lehigh took a 20-16 lead with minutes left in the quarter, but the Hawks ended the first quarter on top, 23-21.

Just under a minute into the second quarter Bethune netted six points, adding to the Hawks’ lead. Junior guard Tyese Purvis put up a pair of three-pointers while Bethune added 10 points for the Hawks, making it 37-25. Four fouls cost the Hawks’ eight points in free-throws, closing the gap for Lehigh. But once again, MU held the lead at the halftime break, 44-37.

The Mountain Hawks came out on fire as Lehigh’s senior guard Amina Affini eventually brought the game to 48-49 with a pair of foul shots. The Mountain Hawks tabbed 11 of the first 16 points in the third quarter. Barker put up nine points, bringing life back to the Hawks, raising their lead to 58. Purvis and Walker combined defensive steals and points to solidify the third quarter lead, 61-56.

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Football Trumps Blue Hose on Senior Day

Football 11 28 2015In the final home game of the season, the Hawks defeated Presbyterian College 21-16 on Saturday afternoon on senior day in West Long Branch.

The Blue Hose got on the board first. Redshirt-freshman quarterback Cody Williams’ pass was intercepted and returned by Donelle Williams to the Monmouth 20 yard line. Freshman kicker Brett Norton converted a 34 yard field goal to give PC an early 7-0 lead.

Monmouth got on the board when Williams found freshman wide receiver Ugo Ezemma for a five yard touchdown pass to cap off a 13 play, 86 yard drive giving the Hawks a 7-3 lead with 4:06 remaining in the first half. But Presbyterian responded with a touchdown of their own; a one yard run by redshirt-freshman quarterback Ben Cheek and the score was 10-7 Blue Hose at halftime.

PC got the ball to begin the second half but turned it over when Cheek’s pass was intercepted by freshman wide receiver Tymere Berry, setting up the Hawks on offense at the Blue Hose 40 yard line. MU drove 40 yards on eight plays that ended in a 13 yard touchdown run by junior wide receiver Darren Ambush off a double reverse, putting the Hawks back on top, 14-10. The Hawks scored again on their next possession as Williams found sophomore wide receiver Reggie White Jr. for 11 yards in the corner of the end zone. The play was initially ruled out of bounds, but was overturned as the sophomore made an impressive catch while dealing with pass interference and staying in bounds to bring Monmouth’s lead to 21-10.

“I was just focused on making the catch,” White said. “I didn’t realize they threw the flag until after the play.”

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Men’s Soccer Finish Season in the MAAC Finals

Soccer John EganAfter a long weekend of battles at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL, the men’s soccer team came up just short of a MAAC Championship Title. The first seeded Hawks suffered a 3-2 loss to the second-seeded Rider Broncs on Monday, Nov. 9 The loss breaks the Hawks’ 17-game unbeaten streak, which is now a standing national record.

The Blue and White fought hard through the final game this season and although they did not win the championship, Head Coach Rob McCourt said the team’s effort was a win in itself.

“The boys are disappointed right now, but we’ve had a fantastic season. I’d like to pay tribute to our group of seniors. They’ve had outstanding careers at Monmouth and should be proud,” Coach McCourt said.

The Hawks travelled a challenging road to get to the finals, first playing the ninth seed Manhattan Jaspers in the quarterfinals. During which, Monmouth dominated possession of the ball for a majority of the first half and striking in the ninth minute with a goal from junior mid Miguel Alves (his fifth of the season).

The Jaspers notched one goal in the 47th minute, but that would be their last. Monmouth junior goalkeeper, Eric Klenofsky, saved eight shots on the. Senior mid David Acuna-Camacho scored during the 86th minute to seal the win.

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Field Hockey Falls to Fairfield in MAAC Semi-Finals

Field Hockey Alyssa ErcolinoThe field hockey team capped off their season this past Friday afternoon in a hard-fought Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) semi-final, falling to Fairfield University 2-1.

“We really stuck together and played as a team. I thought we gelled really well and we found our fight. And we definitely didn’t give up in any game we played this season,” said senior captain Cori Allen. “I know obviously we didn’t get the result that we wanted at the end, but I couldn’t be any prouder of my teammates.”

As MAAC Regular Season Champions, the first seeded Hawks once again hosted the MAAC Championship Tournament on So-Sweet-A-Cat Field.

Fourth-seeded Fairfield got on the board only 2:09 into the game. 2015 MAAC Player of the Year Ann Burgoyne pulled across sophomore Co-Goalkeeper of the year Christen Piersanti and shot on an empty cage. The Stags held an early lead of 1-0.

Although MU outshot the Stags 7-1 in the first half alone, the game remained a draw going into the second half.

The Blue and White answered in the 52nd minute as freshman Georgia Garden Bachop blasted a shot from the top of the circle past Fairfield goalkeeper Caitlin Bennett. Her far post shot was her second of the season and it meant a new game for the Hawks.

As the clock struck 59:50 Burgoyne sealed the fate of the Stags.  A cross from Emily McCauley entered the center of the circle where Burgoyne deflected the ball high into the net past Piersanti.

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Women’s Soccer Falls to Siena in MAAC Championship Semi-Finals

Soccer Taylor JacksonThe Monmouth University women’s soccer team finished their season Friday, Nov. 6 at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn after suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of sixth-seeded Siena College.

Within the opening three minutes of the match, Siena’s Madison Vasquez connected with a header that ricocheted off the crossbar into the penalty area. After a failed clearance and a blocked shot by the Monmouth defenders, the ball fell back at the feet of Vasquez, who side-footed it into the back of the net putting the Saints up by one.

Nearly ten minutes later, MU’s junior forward Erica Murphy charged past a defender and shifted the ball onto her left foot before unleashing a strike just outside the box. However, the shot was easily collected by Siena’s goalkeeper, Liz Rogan. Seconds later, MU junior forward Alexis McTamney also had her shot blocked.

In the 31st minute, Siena midfielder Kristen Connors floated a cross into Monmouth’s box to teammate defender Allison Clark. Clark sent the ball into the far corner of the goal with a header that glanced over the right shoulder of MU junior goalkeeper Sydney Lavan.

In the final fifteen minutes of the first half, Murphy saw a pair of shots go wide while McTamney also had an effort go wide.

The second half began with both sides testing the waters, as each team fought to score, but both had their shots fly wide of goal.

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Cross Country Bask in Success During 2015

The men’s and women’s cross country teams are once again enjoying successful seasons in 2015.

The teams are led by Joe Compagni, who is in his 21st year of coaching. Compagni took over the cross country program in 1995. He ran both cross country and track & field at the University of Delaware and served as the Blue Hens’ cross country captain during his senior year.

“I ran myself in high school and college,” Compagni said. “I enjoy both but cross country is unique because everybody is doing the same thing. You have a very close team and people who are really counting on each other and working towards a common goal.”

Before coming to West Long Branch, Compagni had an experience with the United States Olympic Training Center in 1989, where he worked with runners and cyclists over the summer.

Monmouth offered Compagni his first opportunity to coach at the Division I level. He has enjoyed being in charge of the program and sees a bright future ahead.

“Monmouth gave me an opportunity to come here. They were starting to grow as a university as well as the athletic department. It was a great opportunity for me to coach at the Division I level. We have had the same athletic director ever since I’ve been here. Dr. McNeil has always been supportive of cross country and track which has helped us grow. The school has done very well and continues to grow in the rankings. Once you have a tradition of success it’s easier for the folks who come in to want to take it to the next level,” Compagni said.

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Monmouth Swimming Returns From Hiatus

Anne SkimmonsAfter 32 years of absence, the Monmouth University Division I Men’s and Women’s Swimming program has been reinstated and has begun competing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for the 2015-2016 season.

The Monmouth Swimming program had a successful past. The natatorium on the University’s campus is named after the program’s previous coach Richard E. Steadman, who had 127 All-American Swimmers, and one future Olympic Swimmer, who was also awarded Man of the Year by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America in his time at Monmouth. Six members of the Monmouth University Hall of Fame were members of the swimming program as well as the entire 1974 men’s and women’s teams.

Fast forward three decades, Monmouth County native Matt Nunnally, will be coaching 23 swimmers in the newly restarted Division I program.

“I’ve been coaching D1 for 20 years. I did five years at Seton Hall as an Assistant Coach and then 15 years at La Salle as a Head Coach. Monmouth was attractive to me because of the potential I see in the program. When you look at the athletic department and how the teams are preforming, there’s a belief here that the swimming program can be successful,” Nunnally said.

Once Nunnally signed on, he had to find athletes willing to compete for a start up program. The recruits were found from three main sources; students already enrolled in Monmouth with swimming experience, the incoming freshman class, and students willing to transfer to Monmouth to compete. Two veteran swimmers transferred to MU for the upcoming season. On the men’s side is junior Sam Lynch, who was a State Champion from Ocean who competed for South Carolina last year. On the women’s side, is sophomore Anne Skimmons, who followed Nunnally from La Salle to Monmouth.

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Monmouth Soccer Programs Gear Up for MAAC Tournament

Soccer MAAC TournamentTwo weekends ago, both the men’s and women’s Monmouth soccer teams clinched the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season title, while also claiming the top seed for the upcoming MAAC championships. As a result, both teams have also been granted a first round bye in the tournament.

“It is great to get a first round bye,” said Head Coach Robert McCourt, who has led the Hawks to their ninth conference regular season title whilst under his wing. “It helps with seeding for tournament games and gives your team extra rest as you have one less game to play.”

“The first round bye can be a huge advantage, if you go about it in the right way,” said Krissy Turner, the head coach of the women’s soccer team. “Everyone would think that it’s [having the first round bye] just a huge positive, but it’s hard to keep the players focused when you have such a long break.”

The Monmouth men’s soccer team finished the regular season up on Saturday, as they shared the points with Marist College on the road at Tenney Stadium in Poughkeepsie, New York, via a 2-2 draw. The Hawks finished the season with an 11-3-4 (7-0-3 MAAC) record and as the No. 22 ranked team in the country.

However, McCourt said, “National rankings are well deserved but it is something we never speak about. We take each game one game at a time and try not to let anything outside distract us.”

The women’s team finished with a record of 13-2-2 (9-1-0 MAAC) after defeating Niagara by a score of two goals to nil in their final regular season match two weekends ago. The squad clinched it’s third straight MAAC regular season title with the win.

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Football Dropped By Kennesaw State

Kennesaw StateAfter two tightly contested conference games at home, the Hawks hit the road again for their next game against Kennesaw State. MU fell to the Owls 23-13 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Atlanta.

The Hawks opened the game on offense and started at their own 35 yard line after the opening kickoff went out of bounds. They got the ball into the end zone when Cody Williams completed a 12 yard shovel pass to Darren Ambush to give MU an early 7-0 lead.

The Monmouth defense kept the Owls off the board in the first quarter and a big interception in the end zone by Mike Basile was a key play. But KSU returned the favor and shut out the Hawks in the next two quarters and responded with 23 unanswered points. The Owls got on the board on a two yard rush by Jae Bowen that capped off a 17 play, 80 yard drive that lasted 8:50 and tied the game at seven. Kennesaw State added points to the board in each of their next three possessions. Bowen got in once again from two yards out, this time on a pass from Trey White. The extra point attempt missed and the score was 13-7 KSU. A 37 yard field goal by Justin Thompson extended the Owl lead to 16-7 into halftime.

Kennesaw State opened up the second half going 11 plays for 58 yards as White kept it himself for a three yard touchdown run to make it 23-7. A 14 yard pass from Williams to Ugo Ezemma got the Hawks back in the end zone with 5:44 remaining in the fourth quarter and made it 23-13 after they failed the subsequent two point conversion. Monmouth recovered the onside kick, but Williams threw an interception that ultimately brought the game to an end.

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Monmouth Student-Athletes Invited to WSF Connection

WSF ConventionSeven Monmouth student athletes attended the first ever Women’s Sports Foundation Athlete Leadership Connection on October 19, an event specifically designed to inspire and propel female athletes who wish to become powerful leaders in the business world as well as in their sport. Seniors Sarah Olson and Jasmine Walker of Women’s Basketball, seniors Michelle Gonzales and Marial Pierce of Women’s Lacrosse, seniors Danielle Axelrod and Kristen Brett of Women’s Soccer, and senior Nicole Sandelier of Softball were in attendance along with 30 elite world-renowned female athletes, all interested in expanding her potential beyond her sport.

For more than 40 years the Women’s Sports Foundation has educated and enhanced the lives of women and girls through sports and physical activity.  Originated in 1974 by Billie Jean King, the WSF has funded countless awareness campaigns, research studies, and scholarships. Seeking to bring the worlds of professional and collegiate athletes together, the foundation created the Athlete Leadership Connection. This was the first ever Connection and MU’s first experience with the WSF.

“They [The Women’s Sports Foundation] have so many fabulous mentors and role models that the idea of putting our student athletes in the same room with them was just so exciting and so overwhelming.  When they offered the opportunity I just could not wait to get our athletes in front of them. I think it was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Monmouth University Athletic Director Dr. Marilyn McNeil.

The full-day event was held at Morgan Stanley Headquarters in New York City, consisting of panels, interactive workshops, and competitions geared to inspire and propel female athletes beyond their past and present success. Experienced athletes and business industry leaders provided insight and support to attendees through two panel discussions, three breakout sessions, and a competitive session.     

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Football Falls In Overtime To Top Ranked Coastal Carolina

Football GameThe Hawks made history on Sept. 17 as they picked up their first victory against a ranked opponent in program history; a 20-17 overtime win against #22 Liberty in West Long Branch.

Junior running back Lavon Chaney gave Monmouth their largest lead of the day with a one yard run that gave the Hawks a 14-3 advantage with 7:57 remaining in regulation. But Liberty’s offense woke up and drove down the field for two touchdowns of their own on their next two possessions to take a 17-14 lead with 1:11 remaining.

The Monmouth offense was able to drive down the field and convert on a 35 yard field goal by sophomore Matt White to send the game into overtime. The key play of the drive was a 30 yard pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Williams to redshirt freshman wide receiver Reggie White Jr. that got the MU offense into Liberty territory. A 19 yard gain by senior tight end Hakeem Valles two plays later set up the field goal.

“This week in practice we did the two minute drill and won on a Hail Mary,” Williams said. “It’s a critical time. Everyone needs to come together and play as one. We had faith in our line up front and just had to get the ball in our receiver’s hands to get downfield and put Matt White in a position to win this game.”

In overtime, the Hawks defense kept the Flames off the board as they were able to stop them on fourth down. A seven yard run by Chaney got the ball closer and Williams centered the ball in the middle of the field to prevent White from kicking at an angle. The 37 yard attempt was good, and history was made.

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Men’s and Women’s Soccer Clinch MAAC Regular Season Titles

Soccer GameAfter defeating Niagara by a score of five goals to three last Saturday at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn, Monmouth men’s soccer was crowned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Regular Season Champions for the eleventh time in its history and the second time in the last three years.

“It’s unbelievable,” said senior defender and captain David Acuna Camacho after the win on Senior Night. “I think this might be the last time I’m going to play here [at Hesse Field]. No words can describe it, it’s an unbelievable feeling.”

Clinching the MAAC Regular Season Championship was the icing on the cake for the Hawks at the end of what was a highly successful week for the team. A week earlier, on Saturday, Oct. 17, Monmouth drew 0-0 with Fairfield in Connecticut. The following Tuesday, Monmouth men’s soccer was ranked 25 in the NSCAA NCAA Division I Men’s National Poll and 29 position the College Soccer News Top 30 National Poll. The team’s 12-game unbeaten streak up to that point earned the Hawks that national recognition.

“Having that [a national ranking] is just great for our school and great for the guys coming in and great for our confidence, so it’s just great overall,” said sophomore defender Joey Gudzak.

However, while the Hawks’ regular season is drawing to a close on a high, it began in quite an opposite manner. Three successive losses to UMass Lowell, Providence, and Hartford, respectively, was not an ideal way to begin the campaign for Monmouth. But the Hawks bounced back. Monmouth was able to get back on track after that third game against Hartford and they haven’t looked back since.

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Klenofsky Anchors MU Defense in Goal

Soccer 2It is very rare when someone’s childhood dreams reflect their 21-year-old dreams, but Monmouth University’s men’s soccer goalkeeper, Eric Klenofsky, falls under this category.

“I was 11-years-old when my brother and I were discussing what we wanted to be when we grew up. He was about 15 and had just joined the volunteer fire department, so he said he thought he really wanted to be a firefighter. He asked me what I wanted to be and I said a professional soccer player. I literally think about that moment every day of my life,” Klenofsky said.

While Klenofsky has become one of the best goalkeepers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) has ever seen, that wasn’t always his position.

Klenofsky started his soccer career at age five when his father’s co-worker suggested that he sign up for the sport. He played center midfield, center defense, and even forward before ultimately committing to becoming a goalkeeper when he was 11-years-old.

“I was at my best in goal so my coach put me in goal. That was how it began. Then I started to train with Walter Gotrell who I still train with to this day,” he said.

Klenofsky never had any second thoughts about playing division one soccer; the answer was a definite yes. He had countless recruiters watch him play during his high school years at DePaul Catholic, so it became a matter of where he wanted to play.

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Monmouth Tramples Stags In MAAC Opener

Field HockeyThe Monmouth University field hockey team kicked off Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play this past Saturday in Fairfield, Connecticut defeating the Fairfield Stags 2-1 on University Field.  The win was MU’s first conference opener victory since 2013, improving their record to 1-0 in MAAC play and 4-9 overall.

After a 4-3 overtime victory over the Stags in 2014, the stakes had only grown higher.  For three prior seasons the programs have competed, but this year Fairfield officially entered the MAAC conference.  Saturday’s contest was the Hawks’ first victory over Fairfield since 2007.

“It was important to get the road win, but more importantly was starting the league schedule on the right foot,” said Head Coach Carli Figlio. “The defensive side of the field was really strong throughout and it really was a team effort and something we can really build on. We are excited for next week to continue to get better and elevate our level of play.” 

The Blue and White struck first in the 23rd minute when sophomore defender Rachel Konowal carried the ball up the left side and connected with senior midfielder Cori Allen. Allen deflected it from the far post and netted her sixth goal of the season.

Both Allen and Konowal adjusted to new positions on the field this week.  Allen moved up to the forward line while Konowal slid into Allen’s position at high center back.  

“It was not hard to adjust to playing the high center back, it was just a position up from where I was,” laughed Konowal, “It was an easy transition from watching Cori play there so I just tried to emulate how she played the position but I was getting more comfortable at practice this week.”

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Football Haulted By Charleston Southern

FootballThe Hawks opened up Big South Conference play on Saturday as they traveled down to rainy North Charleston, SC where they fell 37-7 to the Buccaneers of Charleston Southern.

MU went three-and-out to begin the game and the Buccaneers came out pounding the football as they picked up four first downs on the ground which led to the first of three rushing touchdowns by junior running back Mike Holloway, this one from five yards out as CSU jumped out to a 7-0 lead.

Both teams would punt in their next possessions. Monmouth punted again but regained possession after a forced fumble and fumble recovery from senior defensive back Joe Johnson. The Hawks were faced with a fourth and three at the CSU 25; MU went for it instead of sending out sophomore kicker Matt White for a field goal attempt into the heavy rain. They failed to convert and The Buccaneers took over to open up the second quarter.

Three-and-outs from both teams set up Charleston Southern at the Monmouth 20 after a punt by White was returned 40 yards by junior running back Darius Hammond. It only took one play for Holloway to score his second touchdown of the game as he ran in from 20 yards out. The snap of the extra point was mishandled, and CSU was unable to tack on the extra point. They still held a 13-0 advantage. The Buccaneers would add three more as freshman kicker Tyler Tekac made good on a 22 yard field goal as CSU took a 16-0 lead into the locker room.

The Buccaneers started the second half on offense and drove 60 yards over seven plays as Holloway found the end zone for the third time from four yards out to make the Charleston Southern lead 23-0. Monmouth punted in both of their drives in the third quarter and CSU got into the end zone in each of their next two possessions leading into the fourth quarter extending their lead to 37-0.

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Men’s Soccer Extends Unbeaten Streak

Soccer 1Monmouth men’s soccer travelled to hOURglass rivals Rider University last Wednesday night, where they drew 1-1 after 110 minutes of play at Ben Cohen Field, bumping their record to 7-3-2, 3-0-1 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference while their opponents moved to 6-4-1, 1-2-1 in the MAAC.

In a matchup of two MAAC heavyweights, goal-scoring opportunities were scarce in the early going. Just before the hour mark, the deadlock was broken. In the 53rd minute, redshirt sophomore midfielder Colin Stripling found space near the corner of the box and ripped a shot at Rider’s junior goalkeeper David Pastuna. While Pastuna made the initial save, he was unable to fully corral the ball and prevent Monmouth from going up 1-0. Freshman defender Danny Figarella popped into the danger area and deposited the ball into the back of the net to give the Hawks the advantage. Monmouth’s breakthrough was Figarella’s second goal of the season. 

Less than ten minutes later, the hosts answered back. Rider’s junior midfielder Adrien Huss sent a ball into the box that was guided into the back of the net by the head of sophomore forward Jose Aguinaga.

Monmouth freshman forward Jalil Blalock responded with a shot from just outside the box that forced Pastuna to tip it over the bar, conceding the corner. The corner kick was cleared over the end line by the Rider defense. The following corner resulted in a header from freshman defender Zachary Pereira that glanced wide right of the Rider net.

Late in the match, Rider turned up the pressure by creating a host of chances, all of which failed. Junior goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky made a pair of saves while junior forward Zach Bond’s shot in the 85th minute flew just off course.

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Men’s Soccer Breezes By MAAC Rivals

Mens Soccer 220x155Monmouth men’s soccer continued their strong opening to Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play by beating the Iona Gaels 1-0 at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn last Wednesday, improving their overall record to 6-3-1 and their MAAC record to 2-0-0, while the visitors dropped to 5-4-1 overall and 1-1-0 in MAAC contention. 

“I feel really good about it [the win],” said Head Coach Robert McCourt, whose team racked up their fourth straight win Wednesday night. “First half I thought we were the better team, second half I thought they were the better team. You get to that stage where you have to somehow grind out ways to win in college soccer, and the first three games of the year we were finding ways to lose. Since those first three games, we’re earning games for sure but we’re finding ways to win and that’s the sign of a good team.”

Iona created the first close chance of the match when a ball was fizzed into the area from the left-hand side. Freshman forward Daniel Huertas had a tap-in, but his shot from point-blank range was right at junior goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky, who reacted quickly to make the save.

After winning the ball off an opponent, freshman midfielder Anderson Asiedu made his way down the field before slipping a through-ball in to junior forward Dave Nigro. Nigro’s left-footed shot from inside the area sailed just over the top left corner.

In the 35th minute, MU took the lead through sophomore midfielder Andrew Gee. The ball was brought to the corner by redshirt sophomore midfielder Colin Stripling, who found his way out of trouble and dished it to senior defender John Egan. From the right corner of the box, Egan sent in a low drive that was slotted into the back of the net by Gee. 

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Men’s Basketball Gears Up for New Season

Basketball 220x134As the weather becomes colder, colleges all over the country head indoors to hit the court for one thing: practice. College basketball practice opened nationally Friday, Oct. 2 with the Monmouth Hawks Men’s team set to start Monday, Oct. 5. 

A lot of changes for 2015-2016 are already forcing the Hawks to adjust. Changes for the season ruled by the NCAA include cutting the number of timeouts each team can use in the second half from four to three. Resulting from this no timeouts will be allowed to be called during the 16-, 12-, 8- and 4-minute breaks. 

Coaches will not be able to call timeouts when the ball is live with very few exceptions. Teams will now have 10 seconds to advance the ball past half court instead of resetting the clock if there is a stoppage that occurs. 

Along with the adjustments of timeouts, the arc underneath the basket will be extended out from 3 feet to 4 feet. This change was made after data showing the reduced number of collisions with the addition of the extended foot mark in the arc. To add insult to injury, teams will also only have 15 seconds, instead of 20, to make a substitution when a player fouls out. The whole process is in efforts to reduce unnecessary delays of the game. Officials will be instructed to start play quicker following timeouts. If teams do not corporate, penalties such as technical fouls will be called. 

An optimistic look about these new changes comes from junior guard Collin Stewart who showed vast improvement last year. 

“I can’t wait for this season, I really think not only me but our whole team is making huge steps forward and can’t wait to see where it gets us,” said Stewart. 

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Danielle Axelrod Is More Than Just A Captain

Womens Soccer 220x146A Monmouth University student-athlete balances the pressure of being a division one athlete in addition to have a full course load of classes. Many collegiate athletes are showcased for their work on the field and not for their work in the classroom. For Danielle Axelrod, she has been able to shine off the field and discover her passion while competing for a conference title.

The senior midfielder/forward took a break from her studies and soccer to discuss her work off the field with The Outlook. 

Originally hailing from LaGrangeville, NY, Danielle said she had one big motivator when it came to becoming a division one athlete.

“My inspiration comes from God. He’s my rock in everything I do and I would not be where I am today without his guidance and grace,” she said. 

Danielle did not just have one motivator; she also found motivation in experienced soccer players.

“I grew up watching girls who were older than me play and I aspired to be just like them,” she continued. “In middle school I would go to high school games and look at the players like they were the professional players.”

As a three sport athlete in high school, Danielle found time to discover a desire for television. She said, “During my junior year of high school, I became interested in the new studio that my school had built. My math teacher at the time told me I should check it out and see what it was all about. The minute I stepped into the studio I fell in love.” 

Upon entering Monmouth University, Danielle knew she wanted to be an anchor for Hawk TV, however, as a division one athlete, she has little time to spare.

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Football Notches First Home Win Over Bryant

While Hurricane Joaquin did not make landfall, the Hawks, the Bryant Bulldogs and 1,086 fans braved the elements last Saturday as the Hawks came away with their first home win of the season, 31-24 in West Long Branch. 

The opening kickoff by the Bulldogs went out of the end zone, setting up redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Williams and the MU offense at their own 25 yard line. The Hawks drove down the field for their second opening drive touchdown of the season as Williams ran in from 22 yards out to record his first career rushing touchdown putting Monmouth up 7-0 early on. 

After a Bryant three-and-out, MU would move the ball immediately as Williams hooked up with senior tight end Hakeem Valles for a 14 yard gain. Williams found junior running back Lavon Chaney two plays later for a 25 yard gain and another Monmouth first down moving the ball onto the Bryant side of the field. Williams and redshirt freshman wide receiver Reggie White Jr. connected for a 16 yard touchdown reception to extend the MU lead to 14-0. The Hawks drive lasted 12 plays and 85 yards and left 3:04 remaining in the first quarter.

Bryant turned the ball over on their next possession as senior defensive back Malcom Powers picked off junior quarterback Dalton Easton and the Hawks took over at their own 28 yard line. Monmouth would go three-and-out and the Bulldogs regained possession at their own 33.

The visitors got on the board on the fourth play of the second quarter as senior running back Ricardo McCray found the end zone from 38 yards out to cut the MU lead in half, 14-7 with 12:56 to play in the first half.

The ensuing Hawks possession resulted in their first turnover of the game as Williams’ pass was intercepted by junior defensive back Aaron Gilmer. Bryant tied the game at 14 on this drive as Easton threw a 19 yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Jose Depadua with 6:30 remaining in the first half.

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Max DiLeo Signed to the Oettinger Rockets

BasketballMonmouth University has seen their fair share of athletes enter the professional sports realm. One of the most recent being former MU Hawks guard, Max DiLeo.

DiLeo entered the University’s basketball program during his freshman year at college as a walk-on point guard. He played high school basketball at Cinnaminson, where he lettered in basketball, soccer, and track and field. 

Although DiLeo excelled in every sport, he ultimately chose basketball because of his family roots. “My mom was professional; my dad played in college, coached in Europe and the NBA, he was with the 76ers at the time when I made the decision to come here; my brother played at Temple and now as a professional in Germany,” DiLeo said.

DiLeo finished his MU career a .736 free throw percentage, 107 assists, 120 steals, 490 points and 1,803 minutes played. Although these numbers are respectable, it was his heart that really made him stand out on the court.

Josh James, MU junior guard, “Max brought a different kind of energy and spirit to the court. He had a motor that is rarely seen from many players,” said Josh James, a junior guard for the MU basketball team.

DiLeo’s determination and passion attracted the attention of the Oettinger Rockets, a professional basketball team located in Gotha, Germany. 

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Men’s Soccer Rolls Over Seton Hall University

SoccerMonmouth University men’s soccer cruised past Seton Hall University by a score of four goals to one at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn Tuesday night, improving their record this season to 4-3-1, while the visitors’ dropped to 0-5-1. 

“We finished our chances tonight, so I was really happy about that. In soccer, anytime you get four goals, that’s a successful night,” said Head Coach Robert McCourt after the win.

Just fifteen minutes after kickoff, redshirt senior John Egan found junior midfielder Colin Stripling with his back to goal just inside the box. Stripling turned to goal and volleyed the ball into the far corner of the net giving MU the lead. 

“The first one [goal] really was a special one,” said Stripling. “I liked it because it just opened the gates for us [and] calmed the team down a little bit.”

Near the half-hour mark, freshman defender Zachary Pereira found some space down the right flank and served a hard cross into the box. The ball found the head of junior midfielder Miguel Alves, who flicked it into the top corner of the far post, leaving Seton Hall goalkeeper Julian Spindler with no chance. The goal put the Hawks in the driver’s seat, and they lead 2-0 as the half-time break approached.

However, it wasn’t long before the visitors pegged one pack in the 39th minute. Seton Hall’s Andres Arcila played the ball down the left-hand side to sophomore defender John Philbin, who brought it down to the touchline who fired it low and hard into the area to Arcila, who tapped it home with ease. 

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Football Falls To 16th Ranked Fordham Rams

Football2The Monmouth Hawks fell this past Saturday to the 16th ranked Fordham Rams 54-31 in the second ever meeting between the two schools. 

A crowd of 3,471 at Jack Coffey Field settled in as sophomore kicker Matt White kicked off for the Hawks. The initial drive of the game was highlighted by a 49 yard pass on a first and ten play from the Rams junior quarterback, Kevin Anderson, to junior wide receiver Robbie Cantelli bringing the Rams to the Monmouth five yard line. Fordham would get in the end zone two plays later as Anderson connected with freshman wide receiver Corey Caddle for a five-yard touchdown pass giving the Rams an early 7-0 lead.

The Hawks went three-and-out in their first possession but quickly regained possession after senior linebacker Anthony McDonnaugh recovered a fumble. Redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Williams would turn the ball over with an interception on the Hawks very first play following the recovery. The Rams returned to the end zone as Anderson threw a 24 yard touchdown pass to sophomore running back Chase Edmonds to extend the Fordham lead to 14-0.

MU made their first appearance in the red zone on their next possession which was set up by a 27 yard completion from Williams to junior wide receiver Darren Ambush, which brought the Hawks to the Fordham 15 yard line. White connected on a 35 yard field goal to put the Hawks on the board, 14-3 with 2:12 to go in the first quarter.

Fordham was forced to punt but got the ball back after Williams fumbled; this was Williams’s second turnover of the quarter. A seven yard run by Edmonds ended the first quarter.

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Philadelphia Eagles Practice at Kessler Field; Pick Up First Victory of Season

Football1There was a different kind of bird on campus as the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League came to practice at Monmouth on Friday and Saturday. With Pope Francis staying in the Philadelphia area, the team needed a place to practice for the weekend. With their upcoming game being against the Jets at MetLife Stadium, New Jersey was a logical choice.

“Coach Kelly and I have known each other for a number of years,” MU Head Coach Kevin Callahan said. “It’s a professional relationship that goes back to when he was a college coach throughout the northeast. There are also a good number of coaches on his staff who were college coaches in the northeast that I know fairly well also.”

Kelly played collegiately at the University of New Hampshire as a quarterback and a defensive back from 1981-1984. His coaching experience in the northeast began in 1990 with Columbia when he coached the defensive backs and special teams. The next year he coached the outside linebackers and strong safeties before moving on to New Hampshire in 1992 where he coached the running backs. A brief stop at John’s Hopkins as their defensive coordinator in 1993 was followed by his return to his alma mater in 1994. He coached the running backs and the offensive line until he took over as offensive coordinator from 1999-2006, when he left for the University of Oregon. Kelly was their offensive coordinator for two seasons before he took over as Head Coach in 2009. While at the helm, Kelly took the Ducks to two Rose Bowls and a National Championship Game before taking the Eagles’ job in 2013.

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UPCOMING GAMES: 9/23/15

UPCOMING GAMES

Friday, September 25

FH at Northeastern

Boston, Mass. 5:00 pm

Saturday, September 26

WSOC vs. Canisius

W. Long Branch, NJ 1:00 pm

Football at Fordham

New York, New York 1:00 pm

MSOC at Canisius

Buffalo, NY 7:00 pm

Sunday, September 27

FH at University of Albany

Albany, New York 1:00 pm

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Field Hockey Splits Weekend Home Stand

Field HockeyThe Hawks started their weekend on Friday, Sept. 18 with a loss to the Temple Owls 4-2. The Owls jumped out to a 1-0 lead Friday afternoon. The Hawks would respond when senior midfielder Cori Allen put Monmouth back into the game with two goals in the first half. This was Allen’s first career multi-goal game, which helped keep the game tied at two after one half of play. Not to be outdone, Temple’s Alyssa Delp registered a hat trick that propelled the Owls to victory over Monmouth on So Sweet A Cat Field. 

After a tough loss on Friday MU shifted their focus to the visiting Towson Tigers. MU did a good job early of moving the ball through the midfield to create opportunities on offense, outshooting Towson 24-3, on Sunday afternoon. 

An early goal from Towson triggered a response from MU as the Hawks went on to score three unanswered goals by three different players. The first tally came off the deflection of freshman midfielder Gab Girardi, who registered her first collegiate goal knotting the match at one. Allen, who assisted on MU’s first goal, knocked in the games second goal off a corner. 

Junior midfielder Alyssa Ercolino sent the ball in the circle where junior defender Casey Hanna set up Allen for the go ahead score. This gave Allen three goals on the weekend, and helped MU take a 2-1 lead in the first half.

MU had 18 total corners in the game and Ercolino helped start and finish one in the 53rd minute of the game. Ercolino sent the ball into the circle where it was moved around until Allen sent the ball towards the net and Ercolino deflected the ball off her stick to give MU a 3-1 lead. The midfielder registered her second goal of the season. With the win MU snapped a four-game losing streak. 

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Womens Soccer Cruises Past Marist in MAAC Opener

Women SoccerThe women’s soccer team managed a 3-1 victory this past Saturday at Hesse Field on the Great Lawn against the Marist Red Foxes in their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference season opener. This is Monmouth’s third victory over Marist in MAAC history.  

Hungry for the season’s first conference win, MU found the net within the first minute and a half. The Hawks forced early offensive pressure, keeping the ball in Marist’s defensive end for almost the first eight minutes. With 43:39 on the clock junior forward Alexis McTamney crossed the ball into the box, causing a Marist defensive deflection. Junior midfielder Julie Spracklin passed the rebound to senior midfielder Brianne Boyle at the top of the box for a hard finish in the bottom left corner.

Already behind one goal, Marist attempted three consecutive corner kicks at the 27-minute mark, but the MU defense remained steady.  With just under nine minutes in the first half MU junior goalkeeper Sydney Lavan dove into the line of Marist fire to prevent a crucial tying opportunity. 

With five minutes left in the half Marist drew a penalty kick inside Monmouth territory.  Freshman midfielder Hope Quinonez put it away for the Red Foxes past MU goalkeeper Lavan for the tie.  The Hawks outshot the Red Foxes 8-2 in the first half but both teams entered the locker room with one goal and countless missed opportunities.

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Football Grabs First Win of the Season at Wagner

FootballIn the past two weeks, the football team not only picked up their first win of the season but also faced the Chippewas of Central Michigan in the program’s first ever game against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent.  

The Hawks’ football team made history on Saturday, Sept. 12 when they traveled to Mount Pleasant, Michigan to take on the Chippewas of Central Michigan in what was the program’s first ever game against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent.

Playing in front of 21,092 fans at Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Central Michigan came out motivated after a 24-13 loss to Oklahoma State the previous week. Their offense recorded six first downs on the drive, which ended in a Mark Chapman 11 yard run for a touchdown. The 14-play, 73-yard-drive took 6:02 off the clock and Central Michigan had an early 7-0 lead.

“We knew going in that they had a very effective defense, particularly their front seven,” said Head Coach Kevin Callahan. “They were a pretty dominant group, as we saw, in their previous game against Oklahoma State. They were able to control the line of scrimmage at times but I think as the game went on, we started to have a little more success and our players began adjusting to what they were seeing.”

The Chippewas showed an impressive start to the second quarter. With a 17-yard-pass to sophomore wide receiver Corey Wills, CMU extended their lead to 14-0.

CMU added three more points with a 30-yard-field goal by junior kicker Brian Eavey. The Hawks punted again and the CMU offense exploded for an 83-yard touchdown pass from Rush to senior tight end Ben McCord on the second play of the drive. This lengthened the lead to 24-0.

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Monmouth and Rugters Play Out 110 Minute Draw

Mens SoccerLast Wednesday, the University Men’s soccer team shared the points with intrastate rival Rutgers in a scoreless draw at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn in front of over 1,700 fans. 

“We treat it as just another college game,” said MU Head CoachRobert McCourt Robert McCourt. “We respect Rutgers and are friends with their staff.”

MU secured the first opportunity within five minutes from kick off, a long ball found the feet of freshman forward Jalil Blalock. He pulled his shot wide of the back post. 

Around 15 minutes later, junior forward Dave Nigro showcased both his strength and skill by shrugging off a defender and drawing a foul from another. Junior midfielder Miguel Alves stepped up to the ball and attempted to curl a shot on goal. Unlike what happened in MU’s win against Villanova, Alves shot was caught with ease.

Junior goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky was forced into action in the 34th minute when Rutgers’ Drew Morgan headed a Rutgers corner at the back post from close range; Klenofsky made the save and kept the score knotted at zero. 

With just seconds left on the clock at the end of the first half, Rutgers surged down the pitch and a left-footed cross found it’s way dangerously into the area, but an acrobatic save from Klenofsky ensured that the two sides would go into the break level.

The Hawks freshman defender Danny Figarella, had a chance to score almost immediately after coming on in the 55th minute, but the youngster was unable to keep his header down as it flew just over the crossbar. A long Rutgers through ball tailed wide left of the goal, but Klenofsky was forced out of his area in order to clear the danger before the opposition could reach the pass.

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SIDE LINES: 9/16/15

Monmouth Football fell to Central Michigan 31-10 in the Hawks first ever FBS contest. Freshman defensive back Deontà Fair was named CRONS Brand Big South Freshman of the Week after recording his first career interception in Mount Pleasant, Michigan this past Saturday. 


After beating Lehigh and Villanova, Monmouth Field Hockey has lost their last three matches including Rutgers, Lafayette and Cornell all away. Sophomore defender Julie Laszlo was named Defensive Player of the Week after helping the Hawks to their first two wins of the season. 


The Monmouth Men’s Soccer team has scored eight goals in the past two games against Howard and Villanova while only conceding one. Junior goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky was name MAAC Defensive Player of the Week after matching his career high in saves with seven against the Wildcats. This was the Wildcats first loss of the season and were ranked in the Top 25 National Rankings before meeting with the Hawks. 

Men’s Soccer will square off against in-state rival, Rutgers University of the BIG 10 on the Great Lawn tonight at seven o’clock on ESPN3. The Hawks dismantled the Scarlet Knights last season 3-0 in Piscataway. 

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World Cup Veteran Honored by Alma Mater

RamponeFormer Monmouth Hawk and U.S. soccer legend Christie Rampone returned to the University to celebrate her recent World Cup victory and serve as honorary captain during the women’s soccer game against Seton Hall on Monday, Sept. 7.

A crowd of 1,577 gathered on Hesse Field to welcome back the captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team and support the Hawks. Rampone recorded a broadcast segment for ESPN3 before the game and greeted fans at halftime, signing autographs and taking pictures with everyone that eagerly lined up along the Great Lawn.

For the Monmouth women’s soccer team, it was a privilege to share the field with such a distinguished alumni. “It was a great experience to honor Monmouth’s all-time great and represent the growth of the program,” said Kristen Brett, a senior defender. “She is a great role model for collegiate athletes who have dreams and aspirations of becoming the best they can be.”

Julie Spracklin, a junior defender, added that sharing the field with Rampone was a moment that she will always cherish. “It was an honor to stand next to Captain America as she handed over the game ball, making it seem as if we were getting ready to go on to the field together as captains,” Spracklin said.

Danielle Axelrod, a senior midfielder, expressed what it meant for the team to welcome back the former Hawk. 

“To have a World Champion come back to New Jersey and support our team was an amazing feeling. We were pumped to be able to play and represent the same school [Rampone] once did before her incredible journey as a national team member began,” Axelrod said. 

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Hawks Dominate Nationally Ranked Wildcats

Soccer 1Monmouth men’s soccer cruised to a 3-1 victory over Villanova last Saturday at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn, . In doing so, the Hawks handed a Wildcats side ranked 25th in last week’s Top Drawer Soccer College Soccer National Rankings their first loss of the new season, after previously winning their first three.

“We’ve had some good moments [so far this season], but this is the best ninety minutes that we’ve put in for sure”, said Monmouth Head Coach Robert McCourt.

The opening seconds of the match would tell the story of what was to come after heavy pressure from Monmouth culminated in a hard cross into the area that was cleared by the Wildcats. 

After a pair of half-chances were defended well by Villanova, a Monmouth corner was punched away by sophomore goalkeeper Will Steiner, but the ball ended up at the feet of freshman midfielder Anderson Asiedu, whose volley was sent wide. Nonetheless, all of the pressure came from the home side in the first ten minutes of the match.

The visitors finally had an opportunity to do some damage, but their free kick came right to junior goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky, who caught it with ease. 

Following yet another wave of pressure from the Hawks, the Wildcats fought back. The visitors swung in a ball which was headed back towards a teammate near the eighteen, but the ensuing shot was weak and right into the hands of Klenofsky.

Monmouth had a staggering nine corners on the night.

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Hawks Edged by Holy Cross in Home Opener

PHOTO COURTESY of Taylor JacksonsFootball is back. The Hawks kicked off their 2015 season falling to the Crusaders of Holy Cross 27-19 on Sept. 5. The football program is entering its second season in the Big South Conference, where they finished 6-5 overall and 1-4 in conference play in 2014. The Crusaders, a member of the Patriot League who went 4-8 a season ago and finished 2-4 in conference play were too much for the Hawks to handle on opening day at Monmouth Stadium. The two teams played once previously in 2013 at Holy Cross, with the Hawks coming out on top 21-14.

“As a team today, I don’t think we did enough things correctly in order to win the game,” said Monmouth Head Coach Kevin Callahan. “As I told our team, football games are difficult to win and you’ve got to be able to execute and do things right, especially in critical or important situations.

The opening kickoff sailed out of the end zone by Holy Cross junior kicker Zane Wasp to start the season for both schools. The Hawks offense, led by redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Williams, went three-and-out in their first offensive possession of the season. Sophomore kicker Matt White punted to Holy Cross return man senior Kalif Raymond who returned the punt inside the Monmouth five yard line, but a block in the back penalty nullified that return.

The Crusaders’ offensive possession was highlighted by a long 33 yard run on third down by junior running back Gabe Guild to set up a first and goal inside the one yard line. Guild checked out for the next play and in entered sophomore running back Diquan Walker, who ran the ball into the end zone to cap off a four play, 42 yard drive and put the Crusaders on top. Senior kicker Connor Fitzgerald added the extra point to extend their lead to 7-0 with 11:22 left in the first quarter.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication 
and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu