F Hockey 9.27.17

Field Hockey Defeats Indiana 2-1 in Overtime

Twenty-fifth ranked field hockey delivered two exciting home wins this past weekend to extend their winning streak to five. The Hawks comfortably beat Drexel Friday afternoon, winning 4-1 and outlasted Indiana on Sunday with a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory.

Monmouth had trouble converting shots into goals throughout the game on Friday. It took almost 30 minutes for the Hawks offensive to put one on the board. Senior forward Mallory Kusakavitch eventually broke through with her first of two on the day to give Monmouth the 1-0 lead.

Coming out of the half the Hawks wasted little time to extend their lead to two. This time it was junior forward Kelly Hanna tipping in a corner for her first of two goals on the day. The Dragons responded about ten minutes later with a nifty reverse stick goal, to cut the lead in half.

The Hawks had looked a bit sluggish and sloppy up to this point and a time out was called soon after the Drexel goal. Monmouth responded to their coach’s message in timely fashion. Kuskavitch buried her second goal on a fast break feed from junior forward Elyssa Okken to put the Hawks up 3-1 with 20 minutes left on the clock.

“I think we were starting to get fatigued and this is the fittest team we have had in long time. I think we were letting our mentality break down before our legs. I was telling them to have better energy and connect better through the midfield. I think we were able to execute on the attacking side better after the timeout.” Head Coach Carli Figlio said on taking the timeout.

Monmouth doubled down on the defensive end, stemming any chances that Drexel mustered to score. Hanna put the icing on the cake in the 67th minute to give Monmouth a 4-1 lead. The Hawks dominated the stat sheet and led Drexel by a wide margin in shots. Monmouth registered a total of 24 shots compared to Drexel’s five. Credit to Drexel’s goalkeeper as she made nine saves to keep the game close.

The Hawks were powered to victory on Sunday in thanks to junior forward Georgia Garden Bachop’s overtime breakaway goal. Indiana tested the Hawks both mentally and physically. Game time temperature was in the 80s and the sun was blistering. Furthermore, the game on Friday gave Monmouth little time to rest up.

“It means a lot for the team, more than myself. I am happy that I could finish it off because the team deserved a win. I am glad it all came together and it happened off the end of my stick,” said Garden Bachop on her game winning goal.  

Indiana registered the first goal of the game in the 18th minute of a corner shot rebound. No additional scoring took place during the first half but both teams exchanged chances.

The Hawks once again had trouble converting their shots into goals. Going into the half, Monmouth led the shot counter by three but found themselves down on the scoreboard.

Almost immediately out of the break, senior forward Meg Donahue drew a penalty stroke for Monmouth. Senior mid-fielder Rachel Konowal was given the penalty stroke chance and she accomplished the task of converting the opportunity.

After tying the game at one a piece, both teams played each other to a standstill. Senior goalkeeper Christen Piersanti did her part in the win by making a crucial save in the final minutes of play to send the game into overtime.

The first overtime almost ended scoreless but Monmouth once again turned a defensive play into an offensive conversion. Senior defender Julie Lazlo set up the goal by making a defensive tackle. Lazlo then sent the ball to Garden Bachop who found herself in a one-on-one with Indiana’s goalkeeper. Garden Bachop decked out the goalie and buried the game winner.

“I think today was the best game that we have played all year. I thought we held possession really well and held off a very aggressive Indiana team. For the most part, we just weren’t finishing in the attacking end. We focused a lot on grit and hustle today and I think we had some really pretty hockey as well, but this is the team I have been wanting to see for the last couple weeks and this is a great way to head into conference play next weekend,” Figlio said.

The Hawks will begin in conference play next week as they host Sacred Heart University on Friday, Sept. 29 at 4:00 p.m. The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN3.