Field Hockey 10.19.11

Field Hockey Extends Winning Streak to Six Straight Games

The field hockey team added two more wins to their record this past weekend, improving to a record of 124(40).

The Hawks hosted Quinnipiac University on Friday afternoon. It was Monmouth who got on the board very quickly, when Patricia O’Dwyer scored just 33 seconds into the game. About 12 minutes later, she took it to the hole and scored again, notching her ninth of the season. “The midfielders did a lot of work on the possession, setting up my opportunity to score,” O’Dwyer said.

The Hawks were off to a very fast start, but Quinnipiac responded only a few minutes later. Quinnipiac’s Kaitlyn Notarianni scored two consecutive goals, tying the game up at two. Both of her goals were unassisted.

A rain delay for over an hour at halftime held the match up for a while, but the teams got back on the field eventually. “With a delay, it can go one way or another, but it did let us regroup mentally and physically,” Coach Carli Figlio said.

The game remained knotted at two until Michelle Pieczynski scored off a deflection in the 57th minute. It proved to be the game winning goal, giving the Hawks their 11th victory of the season. The Hawks also dominated in shots on net, 179 and led on penalty corners, 63.

On Sunday, the Hawks hosted Sacred Heart University. It was a quiet game overall, but Monmouth got on the board in the 19th minute when Michelle Pieczynski received a pass from O’Dwyer, who then fired it in the back of the net.

Monmouth’s defense was a brick wall, only giving up one shot attempt in the entire game for Sacred Heart. “Our defense has been really solid. We have been especially working hard during the week on drills as well as good communication,” Figlio said.

This week, sophomore O’Dwyer received the NEC Player of the Week award. It was her first time receiving the award. It is also the fourth week in a row that a Monmouth field hockey player has received the honor. O’Dwyer racked up five points over the weekend, including two goals.

“It feels great. Our team is having a great start to conference play. Being relied on as a top scorer on the team is also a lot of pressure,” O’Dwyer explained.

Junior Pieczynski received the NEC Player of the Week for the past two weeks for her outstanding play on the field. “It feels really good.

I’m so excited. I didn’t really expect it at all. I have been taking the ball to the baseline very well, and I’ve been looking inside the circle for different scorers,” Pieczynski said.

Pieczynski has three hat tricks this season as well as 16 goals and four assists. She also became Monmouth’s career leading scorer last week. Defender Nicole Manziano received the award three weeks ago.

Monmouth’s next game is tomorrow at 4:00 pm in West Long Branch against Rider University, who is also 40 in the conference. The match-up will most likely determine who the number one seed will be for the upcoming NEC Tournament. Monmouth will look to extend their winning streak to seven games. Rider, who is 131(40) will look to extend their winning streak to 10 games. The game will be played at So Sweet A Cat Field in West Long Branch.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University Photography