Field Hockey Alyssa Ercolino

Field Hockey Falls to Fairfield in MAAC Semi-Finals

The field hockey team capped off their season this past Friday afternoon in a hard-fought Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) semi-final, falling to Fairfield University 2-1.

“We really stuck together and played as a team. I thought we gelled really well and we found our fight. And we definitely didn’t give up in any game we played this season,” said senior captain Cori Allen. “I know obviously we didn’t get the result that we wanted at the end, but I couldn’t be any prouder of my teammates.”

As MAAC Regular Season Champions, the first seeded Hawks once again hosted the MAAC Championship Tournament on So-Sweet-A-Cat Field.

Fourth-seeded Fairfield got on the board only 2:09 into the game. 2015 MAAC Player of the Year Ann Burgoyne pulled across sophomore Co-Goalkeeper of the year Christen Piersanti and shot on an empty cage. The Stags held an early lead of 1-0.

Although MU outshot the Stags 7-1 in the first half alone, the game remained a draw going into the second half.

The Blue and White answered in the 52nd minute as freshman Georgia Garden Bachop blasted a shot from the top of the circle past Fairfield goalkeeper Caitlin Bennett. Her far post shot was her second of the season and it meant a new game for the Hawks.

As the clock struck 59:50 Burgoyne sealed the fate of the Stags.  A cross from Emily McCauley entered the center of the circle where Burgoyne deflected the ball high into the net past Piersanti.

The Hawks relentlessly replied with just over three minutes left in play.  Sophomore Rachel Konowal got her stick on the ball and snuck it under Bennett’s pads, but the goal was called back on account of body contact.  The Blue and White drew two last corner attempts as time expired, but could not capitalize.

Piersanti and MAAC Defensive Player of the Year Casey Hanna saw little action, as the Hawks made two saves to the Stags’ eight.  While MU outshot Fairfield 15-8 the scoreboard awarded Fairfield, as they went on to claim the conference title on Sunday afternoon, in a championship win over Quinnipiac University.

Senior Cori Allen, junior Alyssa Ercolino, and Sophomore Meg Donahue earned All-MAAC First Team honors, while sophomore Sydney Southard earned All-MAAC Second Team honors. Seven Hawks earned All-Academic Team awards this season as well.

Monmouth graduating seniors included Cori Allen, a Gibbsboro, NJ native who joined the team from the University of Iowa two years prior. “Cori has been a captain for two years and I think her work ethic is outstanding,” said Head Coach Carli Figlio.  “I truly don’t think that I’ve been able to coach somebody who has not just the talent but the work ethic.  Every single day I don’t think she ever had a bad practice or a bad game.”

Casey Higgins, a defender from Florham Park, New Jersey, joined the squad this semester from the University of Connecticut. “Casey had only been with us for a semester, but she gave everything that she had…This was her fifth year so she’s been through a few preseasons, but she really was a very collected and mature player.  She really believed in what we were trying to do,” raved Figlio.

Lauren Horner, a product of Schnecksville, Pennsylvania played all four years with the Hawks as was also a two-time captain. “She [Horner] is really special to us because she has battled through a lot of injuries, some pretty serious ones…every single day she literally put her body on the line for the team,” said Figlio. “To say that she led by example is an understatement. She’s an inspiration as far as I’m concerned.”

“I think the special thing is it’s unfortunate that their time here as ended but their legacy hasn’t…Next year we’ve got to come back here, host, and be able to win it for them,” said Figlio.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University Athletics