Men’s soccer fell to Rider, 2-1, in their final home match of the season at Hesse Field on the Great Lawn on a Senior Night where they honored four graduating players.
“Our seniors have been fantastic leaders and great role models for our younger players,” said Head Coach Robert McCourt. “They’ve had amazing careers here at Monmouth University.”
Rider opened the scoring in the 18th minute when junior forward Clement Bourret scored inside the near post from a teammate’s cross.
Just before halftime, Monmouth was awarded a penalty kick for a foul in the box, presenting them with a chance to equalize.
Junior midfielder George Akampeke stepped up to the spot and buried the ball into the back of the net to level the score. The goal was the Ghana native’s second of his career.
Freshman goalkeeper Sean Murray made five saves throughout as he tried to keep the Hawks in the game.
His efforts on Saturday night put him at a total of 79 saves on the season, which is ranked within the top five on a national scale.
In the 59th minute, Rider restored their lead which they would eventually hold onto for the rest of the match.
Bourret was on the other end of the Broncs’ second goal, as this time it was his cross from a corner kick that was converted into the back of the net.
Junior defender Sylvain Coco rose high above his marker and headed home to make it 2-1 for the visitors.
Monmouth recognized four seniors before kickoff; defenders Zach Pereira, Luke Bromley, Henrique Joaquim, and midfielder Tim McCahery were invited onto the field along with their parents to celebrate the conclusion of their collegiate soccer careers.
Pereira, the squad’s captain, started the match with the opening kick at midfield despite being injured.
The defender received a standing ovation from the crowd as he was substituted off in the first minute.
“I think that when they’re older, they’ll look back on their many positive experiences here. All four seniors will certainly be missed,” McCourt said.
Monmouth, who dropped to 2-12-1 overall with the loss, will finish their season with two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) matches away from home at Iona and Quinnipiac, respectively.
In last year’s encounter with Iona, the Hawks ran out 3-2 winners in West Long Branch thanks to two goals in the first half.
Kickoff for today’s match in New Rochelle, NY against the Gaels is slated for 3:00 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN+.
PHOTO TAKEN by Karlee Sell