FH Loss UMass

Field Hockey Drops NCAA Play-In Game

The Monmouth University Field Hockey season came to an end on Nov. 9 with a heart-breaking 4-3 loss to the University of Massachusetts in an NCAA tournament play in game at “So Sweet A Cat” Field.

UMass opened up scoring in the 12 minute on a flashy reverse shot goal which was quickly answered by junior defender Julie Laszlo who buried a corner shot a few minutes later. Laszlo added her second goal a minute before the half off of a corner opportunity to put the Hawks up 2-1.

The Minutewomen tied the game and then took the lead scoring twice in 11 minutes after the half. Monmouth knotted the game on a blast by senior defender Casey Hanna that found twine. The game looked to be heading into overtime but with three minutes left, UMass tipped in the eventual game winner.

Monmouth would have two last minute corner opportunities to tie the game. However, the Minutewomen’s defense held steady fending off junior midfielder Rachel Konowal and Laszlo’s last ditch efforts to send the game into overtime.

“Like we saw last weekend, this team was not willing to go down without a fight,” Monmouth Head Coach Carli Figlio said. “The heart and effort they left out on this field was once again phenomenal. You never want it to see it end for your seniors, specifically for these two (Alyssa Ercolino and Casey Hanna). They are the heart and soul of this team and I know there is only two, but it feels like there are ten when they are out there playing. Overall, it was a game that we can be proud of.”

This was tough loss but the season was without question a successful one for the Hawks. They won the Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference title and championship and finished with a program record 17 wins.

“It was an amazing season, we broke a ton of records,” Filgio said. “We did some things we had never been able to do and I think as a whole, this will be the team that we look back to and tell future teams to play like the girls did in 2016. Hopefully this is our jumping point to continue to climb the ranks.”

The Hawks also earned a slew of awards with a total of seven players named to All-MAAC teams and five receiving major individual awards. Figilio was recognized for her exceptional coaching and earned her third “Coach of the Year” Award in her tenth season as head coach.

Laszlo was unanimously selected as the MAAC Player of the Year and Defense Player of the Year. Senior forward Alyssa Ercolino took home the MAAC Offensive Player of the Year while junior goalie Christen Piersanti was recognized as the Goalkeeper of the Year for the second straight year.

Laszlo, Ercolino, and Piersanti were joined by Hanna and junior forward Meg Donahue on the All-MAAC first team. Junior defender Sydney Southard and freshman forward Josephine van der Hoop earned second team honors.

The Hawks will look to build upon the record setting season and many key players will return next fall. However, they will say goodbye to crucial seniors, Alysa Ercolino and Casey Hanna, who meant so much to the team.

“We made of history this year, and we worked tirelessly together every day,” Ercolino said after her final game. “We accomplished so many of our goals and I am proud of this team.”

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University Athletics