Men’s lacrosse clinched a spot in their fourth consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) tournament with a thrilling 9-7 victory over conference foe Marist. The Hawks still have two regular season games left on their schedule but they have officially secured themselves into 2018 postseason play.
It was junior attack Griffin Figel who led the charge once again for Monmouth, recording his second hat trick in a row while extending his point’s streak to an impressive 13 straight games.
Figel found the back of the net early in the first quarter to give MU a 2-1 lead after senior attack Bryce Wasserman had opened the game’s scoring in the first minute of play. The goal increased the senior’s record-breaking point’s streak to 28 games along with extending a 14-game goal streak.
Marist came storming back in the game however as the Red Foxes finished the first quarter strong with two goals of their own to take a 3-2 lead going into the first intermission.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game today,” Head Coach Brian Fisher said. “I think every time we play Marist it’s a tough game.”
MU went into the half down 6-5 which remained the score for most of the third quarter until freshman midfielder Casey Kimmel notched the equalizer for the seventh goal of his first campaign.
From here, Figel took over scoring the next two goals of the game to give the blue and white their first multiple goal lead in what had been a back and forth affair.
Marist tacked on another goal late in the third to get it back to a one score game. But ultimately, it was none other than Wasserman who closed the door on the Red Foxes with an unassisted goal in the final two minutes of the game to secure the 9-7 victory.
“To earn the win in the second half and buckle down the way we did, I’m really proud of our guys,” Fisher said.
It was another monster performance for Monmouth’s freshman goaltender Noah Lode who put together his ninth double-digit save competition of the season with an impressive ten saves in goal.
The defensive effort for the blue and white extended beyond just freshman goalkeeper Noah Lode, as junior long stick midfielder Gordon Phillips generated two turnovers for the Hawks to lead the defensive charge. Phillips also tied for the team high for ground balls, as he and sophomore defenseman Dillon Smart each contributed five of their own on the day.
The victory got Monmouth’s overall record back to .500 at 6-6 for the year, while they improved to 3-1 in conference play. As for Marist, they fall to a lackluster 3-10 record on the season, and 2-3 in MAAC play. Despite the loss the red and white still lead the Hawks in their all-time series at a 5-3 clip.
Monmouth will look to wrap up their regular season in the following two weeks as they will first host Quinnipiac on Friday, April 20 at 4:00 p.m. This game will also serve as Senior Day for the home squad as the Kessler Stadium matchup will appear live on ESPN+ for all fans to follow.
PHOTO TAKEN by Karlee SellJunior