The women’s soccer team managed a 3-1 victory this past Saturday at Hesse Field on the Great Lawn against the Marist Red Foxes in their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference season opener. This is Monmouth’s third victory over Marist in MAAC history.
Hungry for the season’s first conference win, MU found the net within the first minute and a half. The Hawks forced early offensive pressure, keeping the ball in Marist’s defensive end for almost the first eight minutes. With 43:39 on the clock junior forward Alexis McTamney crossed the ball into the box, causing a Marist defensive deflection. Junior midfielder Julie Spracklin passed the rebound to senior midfielder Brianne Boyle at the top of the box for a hard finish in the bottom left corner.
Already behind one goal, Marist attempted three consecutive corner kicks at the 27-minute mark, but the MU defense remained steady. With just under nine minutes in the first half MU junior goalkeeper Sydney Lavan dove into the line of Marist fire to prevent a crucial tying opportunity.
With five minutes left in the half Marist drew a penalty kick inside Monmouth territory. Freshman midfielder Hope Quinonez put it away for the Red Foxes past MU goalkeeper Lavan for the tie. The Hawks outshot the Red Foxes 8-2 in the first half but both teams entered the locker room with one goal and countless missed opportunities.
The second half was a new game as Marist’s sophomore forward Brianna Robinson hit the crossbar to shake up the MU defense. The Hawks debuted an altered formation, one that would account for recent injuries and a priority on scoring. The physicality continued but MU head coach Krissy Turner knew that scoring would require a return to its traditional formation. In the final 20 minutes of play a Marist yellow card made way for the Blue and White offense to capitalize. With just under 19 minutes of play redshirt junior forward Rachael Ivanicki found junior forward Erica Murphy wide open in the box. Murphy controlled the cross and placed it to the right of Marist goalkeeper Makala Foley to make it 2-1. Turner’s original formation was advantageous all along.
It was not until the final 13 minutes that the Hawks would close out the match. In a scuffle sophomore forward Rachelle Ross controlled a header and found Murphy in the middle of the box again. Murphy shot left to earn her second of the night and sixth of the season. The clock ran down as the Hawks walked away victorious, pleased to have began conference play on the right foot.
After a physical and hard-fought match, MU head coach Turner said “Conference games are all about intensity and energy and I think we were missing that at times. At other times I thought we had it. Anytime you’re playing at home in the conference you need to get three points. So we were able to do that. It wasn’t pretty but we will take the three points.”
Lavan earned her fifth win of the season as Spracklin increased her team lead in assists to five.
Leading goal scorer, Murphy had a two-goal night, the fourth of her career.
“I think it’s a huge win for us, it was the first game of the MAAC so we really wanted to set the tone,” said Murphy. “I think we did a great job of facing adversity and coming back in the second half. We showed them what we really can do.”
The 3-1 victory now sets the Hawks up at 1-0 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play and 5-1-2 on the season. The Blue and White will be back in action Saturday the 26 for Breast Cancer Awareness Day to face conference opponent Canisius at 1 pm at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn.
PHOTO COURTESY of Taylor Jackson