- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 13 April 2016
- Written by CONNOR WHITE | SPORTS EDITOR
It 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.
“We came out with a lot of energy today,” Ghent said. “But that was part of the game plan since it was a conference game, at home, and senior day.”
After Smith netted her third goal of the game at the 20:22 mark, the next ten minutes belonged to defense as neither team scored for almost 12 minutes. The Bobcats ended the silence when sophomore attacker Loren Antonacci scored with 8:50 remaining in the first half with the Hawks leading 5-2.
Following back-to-back goals by MU sophomore midfielder Caroline Corbliss, the Bobcats answered at the 5:40 mark with a score from freshman attacker Allison Kuhn, bringing QU within four. However, MU would respond with a 3-0 run with a goal by Corbliss and two from freshman attacker Jenny Staines to give the Hawks a 10-3 lead going into halftime.
MU began the second half in similar fashion as they did the first when Smith recorded her fourth goal of the game and 28th of the season within the first minute. After a Bobcat score at the 25-minute mark, Smith answered again for her fifth goal of the day, putting the Hawks ahead 12-4.
“She put in a ton of work over the summer,” Ghent said of Smith. “She came into the year ready to go.”
The two teams then traded goals again, with Antonacci scoring for QU and Pierce netting one for the Hawks, putting the score at 13-5 in favor of MU. Pierce would score again around the five minute mark for her third goal of the day and 22nd of the season. She would finish her senior day with three goals, two assists, six ground balls, five shot controls and four caused turnovers.
“It was such a memorable game,” Pierce said. “We played really well and it was a good game from start to finish.”
Offense wasn’t the only thing working for the Hawks as their defense kept the Bobcats’ leading scorer, senior midfielder Aileen Carey, to one goal in the game.
“Our defense has done a great job and have gotten better each game,” Ghent said. “Not only at defending top scorers, but at defending the entire [opposing] team.”
The win keeps MU undefeated in the MAAC and tied for first with the Canisius Golden Griffins. The two teams will face-off in Buffalo on Apr. 16.
“A great win like this definitely gives us a lot of confidence going into that game,” Pierce said. “We are going to come out ready.”
With three conference games left on the schedule, Pierce is savoring her last few weeks as a Hawk and appreciates the connection that she has with her senior teammates.
“We’ve been playing together for so long,” Pierce said. “There’s nothing better than being a part of something like that.”
MU will take the field again on Wednesday, Apr. 13 when they face the Fairfield Stags at home, a conference matchup set to start at 3 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN3.