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Field Hockey Team Knocks off RMU; NEC Tournament on the Horizon

The field hockey team finished their regular season on a very strong note. They defeated Robert Morris University 41 on Sunday in Moon Township, Pennsylvania.

The game was dominated by the Hawks on both sides of the ball, as they were able to take a comfortable lead which was preserved into a 41 victory.

The Hawks got on the board first when Alex Carroll converted a corner in the 22nd minute. Only about a minute later, Patricia O’Dwyer blasted a shot from the top of the circle to increase the Monmouth lead to 20. Robert Morris got on the board three minutes later, making it a 21 ballgame.

The score remained 21 at halftime. It took until the 62nd minute to see another goal. Patricia O’Dwyer scored off of a corner, which was assisted by Carroll and Kimmy Baligian. O’Dwyer scored again four minutes later off of another corner attempt. The 41 Monmouth lead was sealed, and the Hawks were about to earn their 14th victory of the season, including their sixth conference win. Robert Morris would drop to 812(25).

“It took us until the second half to get going. We stressed forward movement today which we have been working on all year,” explained Coach Figlio.

O’ Dwyer was dominant, recording seven points, including three goals. It was her first career hat trick. Alex Carroll put up four points, including one goal. Teresa Mathews racked up four saves for the Hawks.

“Playing on field turf definitely helps on corners. Our game plan was to score off of short corners, so that’s what we concentrated on,” O’Dwyer explained. She also received the NEC Player of the Week award this week for her second time.

Monmouth dominated on shot attempts, 238, and on penalty corners, 145.

The Hawks are now entering their third straight NEC Tournament appearance. They have locked up the #2 seed in the four team pool and will face Quinnipiac University in the first round. The first round of the tournament will be played on Friday, with the championship on Saturday. The tournament will be held at top seeded Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Quinnipiac is 117(52). Monmouth defeated Quinnipiac by a score of 32 on October 14.

Rider University’s field surface has a reputation of avoidance, regarding scheduling. Since it is grass, unlike most field hockey field surfaces which are either Astroturf or grass turf, the game can change drastically. Grass is considered to slow down the pace of the game including how fast the ball moves against the ground.

“The field surface changes the game for sure, but we just have to adjust. Our goal is to play at a level of 100 percent,” said Coach Figlio.

The opening whistle will be at 11:00 am on Friday. If Monmouth wins, they will face the winner of Rider and fourth seeded Bryant University.

This is the second straight season that Monmouth has recorded 14 victories. When it comes to postseason appearances, the seniors are always looked upon to lead the team and motivate each other.

“We have to remember where our program came from and we have to concentrate on taking it to the next level,” senior Morganne Firmstone said.

“Quinnipiac is a very fast team and they hit the ball very hard. The most important thing is for us to execute what we have been working on for the last two months,” Coach Figlio stated.