- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 12 October 2016
- Written by CHRIS FITZSIMMONS | STAFF WRITER
Monmouth University Field Hockey commenced Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play with a strong shutout victory over the Siena Saints, 5-0, on Friday afternoon and an overpowering win over Long Island University (LIU) Brooklyn on Sunday morning blanking the Blackbirds 9-0. With the wins, Monmouth is now 2-0 in conference play this season.
Monmouth went into the weekend play ranked 15th overall in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) and comes into conference play with high expectations.
“I think it puts a little added pressure, but we try to not focus on that kind of stuff and focus and things we can control,” Head Coach Carli Figlio said. “For us, we have something to prove. Last year we hosted (the MAAC tournament) but we were not in that championship game. We got a little chip on our shoulder, and I am hoping that motives us every game.”
The game against Siena was tightly contested at first with both teams moving the ball but having difficulty getting quality shots on net. The two teams were scoreless until the sixth minute when Monmouth’s sophomore forward Kelly Hanna scored off of one of six assists from junior midfielder Meg Donahue.
“I think it is really important because it gets our momentum going, and we are a team that does really well when we score first because it gives us a lot of confidence,” said Hanna on what scoring first means for the team.
The game would continue its fast-paced theme with both teams exchanging shots and chances. The Hawks broke through again a little past the midway mark in the first half. This time it was junior defender Julie Laszlo who ripped a shot on a corner to score her seventh goal of the season. Laszlo played a pivotal role in the win and was credited with a total of nine shots in the game with the majority coming off of corners.
When commenting on the plan to get her the ball on the corners, Laszlo said, “We have been practicing it for a long time. They just want to get me to ball to try and score and that is what we do on those plays.”
The Hawks faced some adversity when senior defender Casey Hanna was yellow carded in the 28th minute just before the half. Monmouth was able to successfully ward off the Saints’ chances and they were even able to get a few shots off on their own; however, no scoring occurred and the game would go into the half with Monmouth up 2-0.
The Hawks wasted little time coming out of the half when senior midfielder Alyssa Ercolino buried a goal in the 37th minute off a corner assisted by Laszlo. This made the game 3-0 and from there the Hawks would take control of the game leaving no doubt of the final outcome.
The blue and white would tack on two more goals, again one from Laszlo and also from sophomore defender Georgia Garden Bachop. MU was able to really take control in the second half, recording 22 shots to Siena’s seven and was able to win comfortably.
Sunday’s action for Monmouth was never in question as they dominated LIU Brooklyn on their way to a 9-0 win.
“This entire weekend was a team effort and coming out with two wins was critical for us. We are looking forward to getting back to work to prepare for next Sunday against Rider,” Figlio said.
This was the first meeting between the two programs and was truly a team-wide scoring bonanza for Monmouth. Lead by Laszlo, who had five points and a goal, seven different Hawks recorded goals in the win.
Junior goalie Christen Piersanti did not have to make a save in the win and this game was the seventh shutout of the season and 11th of her career. The seventh shutout sets a new season record for the program and the 25 total points is the second most ever recorded in program history.
Monmouth was once again home the MAAC weekly Offensive Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week, Donahue and freshman standout forward Josephine van der Hoop respectively.
The Hawks will look to expand on this weekend’s wins and as they continue conference play next week as they take on Rider on Sunday, Oct. 16 in Lawrenceville, NJ. After that Monmouth will take on both Bryant (Oct. 21) and Fairfield (Oct. 23) at home.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University Athletics