Standing at 84 looking into October, head coach Carli Figlio and the field hockey team has plenty to be proud of, but have plenty of work to do as well.
The Hawks started off the season in a rough fashion, as they dropped their first two matches. They opened up the season on August 27 at Syracuse University, who was ranked fifth in the nation at the time. The Hawks were dominated by the much stronger Syracuse squad by a score of 40, but Coach Figlio stresses the fact that games like these against very strong opponents prove to be learning experiences.
“Playing up always benefits us in the long run. It shows our character, concentration, and what we need to fix as a team,” Coach Figlio said.
Later that week, the Hawks then fell to Hofstra University in the home opener by a score of 43. Senior Morganne Firmstone scored twice for the Hawks.
The Hawks got their first win to open up September. They defeated the University of Miami (Ohio) 32 in overtime. Sophomore Michelle Pieczynski scored the game winning goal deep into overtime to seal the victory for the Hawks.
After a loss to the College of William and Mary two days later, Monmouth bounced back in their next game to defeat Lehigh University, 41. Pieczynski was dominant once again, as she recorded a hat trick. The victory was the first of an upcoming five game win streak for Monmouth.
On Sunday September 11, the Hawks recorded their third win of the season as they dominated Columbia University 40. Sophomore Patricia O’Dwyer scored two goals for the Hawks while sophomore goalie Teresa Mathews recorded eight saves as well as her first shutout of the season.
About a week later, Monmouth defeated The University of Vermont 42 to continue the win streak. The very next day, the Hawks traveled to play Rutgers
University, where they recorded an epic 21 win. Firmstone had the game winning goal at the 46th minute.
The following Wednesday, Monmouth had another thrilling victory, this time in overtime. Pieczynski recorded her second hat trick of the season, including the game winning goal in overtime.
“I think as a team we’ve been playing up to our expectations. We just have to connect our passes more. Individually, I’ve worked hard in the offseason at taking the ball to the baseline as well as looking for inside circle passes,” Pieczynski stated.
Unfortunately, the win streak finally came to end at five games. The Hawks lost their next game to 16th ranked Albany University 21. Monmouth bounced back the very next day with a 21 victory of their own, against Temple University.
The most recent game brought another victory, as the Hawks defeated Georgetown University on Sunday in West Long Branch. The final score was 51, as Monmouth scored five consecutive goals to seal the victory. Pieczynski and O’Dwyer each had two goals. Monmouth dominated on shots and penalty corners, 206 and 124, respectively.
Michelle Pieczynski has proved herself as a dominant force on the offensive end for the Hawks, as she has scored 11 goals so far this season. O’Dwyer has six goals and four assists while Alex Carrol has five goals with four assists. Firmstone has four goals.
“Compared to last season, I feel a lot more comfortable in the back. We have also been playing the ball off of each other very well, but we have to work on continuing possession,” explained Carroll.
Junior Nicole Manziano has been dominant on the defensive side with nine defensive saves already. She also received the NEC Player of the Week a week ago.
“I’m very excited, especially as a defender. There are no words to describe it. It is also my first time winning it. I’ve been able to put on a lot of pressure, making them make the mistake before
PHOTO COURTESY Monmouth University Photography