- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 09 November 2016
- Written by KEVIN OSBACK | STAFF WRITER
The Monmouth University women’s soccer team hosted the 2016 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) tournament this past weekend after clinching regular season conference champs. The Hawks brought the same focus, energy and fire from the regular season into the first round of tournament play, beating Marist in the semifinals 4-1.
The Hawks’ leading point scorer, redshirt freshman forward Madie Gibson, scored first for Monmouth after drilling the ball into the goal. She was assisted by junior forward Rachelle Ross and sophomore midfielder Alli DeLuca. MU ended up scoring once more in the first half, while Marist remained scoreless.
Redshirt senior forward Rachael Ivanicki headed the ball into the net after Gibson crossed it, making the score 2-0. The Hawks were first to strike again in the second half after Ross beat the goaltender one-on-one, advancing Monmouth’s lead to 3-0. Marist quickly responded by scoring a goal off the cross bar around the 83rd minute, changing the score to 3-1.
But Monmouth wasn’t done yet, Ross scored at 89:43 to make the final score 4-1 and advancing the Hawks into the championship game.
“It was a great team performance tonight. We capitalized on opportunities and defended extremely well. We are looking forward to competing for a MAAC title on Sunday,” said Head Coach Krissy Turner.
On Sunday, the Hawks became MAAC Champions after defeating Quinnipiac 5-2 in front of a large home crowd at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn.
“It was an amazing win from a team that has worked so hard this year. It is well deserved and I couldn’t be any prouder to be a part of it,” said senior Captain Defender Julie Spracklin.
The blue and white played confidently yet again scoring first and playing solid defense throughout the whole game. DeLuca fired a shot from the penalty area around the 22nd minute mark, putting Monmouth in front 1-0. DeLuca wasn’t finished yet as she assisted Ivanicki’s right-footed boot, advancing the Hawks 2-0.
Monmouth scored again roughly 10 minutes later. The MAAC tournament Most Valuable Player and junior defender, Miranda Konstantinides headed a ball into the net after being assisted by Spracklin and freshman forward Anna Lazur. Konstantinides knew she had another goal in her, considering she has scored two goals in every game that she has scored in. Senior forward Alexis McTamney crossed the ball to Ross, Who eventually assisted Konstantinides for her second goal at 49:53 in the game.
“It’s an incredible feeling to win the MAAC championship on our home field. Earning the tournament MVP came from a total team effort and for me to be able to score those goals was just a great feeling in the championship,” said Konstantinides.
Marist eventually got on the scoreboard, finishing a penalty kick at 52:28 in the second half, making the score 4-1. Roughly 10 minutes later, Gibson finessed the ball into the net after being assisted by McTamney, advancing the Hawks 5-1. Marist answered late in the second half, scoring off a free kick from 40 yards out, making the final score 5-2.
“We had a tremendous performance in all phases on the game. We left no doubt that we are the best team in the MAAC. I am very proud of every player, coach and support staff member in our program who worked extremely hard to allow us to hold up the trophy today,” said Head Coach Krissy Turner.
The Hawks received the MAAC’s automatic bid to the 2016 Women’s Soccer Championship. It will be their fourth NCAA appearance in program history and they will travel to Charlottesville, VA to take on the Virginia Cavaliers in the first round. The game will take place on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University Athletics