Field Hockey clinched the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Regular Season Championship for the fifth year in a row with a 2-0 win at Fairfield on Friday, securing home field advantage for the MAAC Championship in the process.
Senior forward Georgia Garden Bachop scored in the 24th minute to bring her season goal count to 14.
Freshman forward Annick van Lange buried an empty net insurance goal in the final minutes for her 8th goal of the season.
“I am extremely proud of our team and staff for completing one of our goals we set forth in preseason,” said Head Coach Carli Figlio. “We are excited to be back home on ‘The Cat’ and have a chance to host the conference championship in front of our fans.”
In what was a clash of two evenly-matched teams, Monmouth managed to hold an advantage of 13-5 on shots over Fairfield. Additionally, they generated eight penalty corners while holding Fairfield to a total of three.
The opening goal was a result of one of those penalty corners. A foul on Fairfield set the stage for an attempt by senior forward Kelly Hanna. Hanna passed to it junior defender Annie Deusch who fed Garden Bachop for the score.
Additionally, Garden Bachop was selected to participate in the Victory Sports Tours/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Senior game.
The New Zealand native becomes the third Hawk to be selected, joining Casey Hanna and Alyssa Ercolino who competed in the game in 2016.
The remaining 11 minutes left in the game saw both teams create chances, yet they were unable to capitalize.
Monmouth successfully shut down multiple penalty corner attempts by the Stags. Right before the first half expired, Hanna was given another opportunity on a corner but was unable to convert.
The second half played out in similar fashion. Shots by both teams were either saved or wide of net.
With time running out, Fairfield made the move to pull their goalkeeper. The Hawks took advantage of the open net as van Lange found twine to put the game on ice.
Freshman goalkeeper Kate O’Hogan recorded her second shutout of the season, making two saves.
Sophomore defender Hannah Schiavo was awarded her first personal collegiate accolade, MAAC Defensive Player of the Week, on Monday for her contributions to the shutout.
Monmouth is now 28-6 in MAAC play since joining the league in 2013.
The playoff picture will see Monmouth host the MAAC Championship tournament in West Long Branch thanks to finishing the regular season as the number one seed. The tournament is set to take place from November 2nd – 4th.
Over fall break, Monmouth Field Hockey found themselves splitting their matchups.
A 5-1 loss to Drexel on Oct. 12 ended the program’s six-game winning streak.
Monmouth regained their rhythm two days later on Senior Day at So Sweet a Cat Field, beating Sacred Heart 4-1 to cap off an emotional day for the team.
“They have meant really a lot to me,” said junior midfielder Josephine van der Hoop on the senior class. “I came in as a freshman and they have taught me everything I need to know about being a tough person on the field. During the games they keep pushing and tell me to be better and to never give up.”
Monmouth will end their regular season with a match away to Lock Haven in PA on Friday at 3:00 p.m.
PHOTO TAKEN by Karlee Sell