Women’s soccer secured first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), earning home field advantage for the semifinal of the MAAC Tournament with a 2-0 victory against Niagara at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn on Wednesday, Oct. 17.
The shutout extended Monmouth’s winning streak to eight consecutive games with just one left to be played in the regular season.
During that span, the Blue and White have dominated their opponents, outscoring them 24-2.
Wednesday’s matchup was off to a slow start in the first half as Monmouth outshout Niagara seven to one but was held off the scoreboard until the 30th minute.
Luckily for the Hawks, who have won 34 straight games when scoring first, junior forward Dana Scheriff was able to find the back of the net for the fifth time this season on an assist from junior midfielder Jessica Johnson to give Monmouth the 1-0 advantage.
Junior goalkeeper Amanda Knaub did not have to make one save during the first half, as she went on to earn her ninth shutout of the year and 29th for her career.
It was freshman midfielder Jill Conklin who was able to make Knaub’s job a little easier by giving Monmouth the 2-0 cushion with her third goal of the season in the 60th minute off of a corner kick. Monmouth’s insurance goal was the second in as many games for Conklin.
The Hawks were able to hold off the Purple Eagles the rest of the way, outshooting them 11 to four in the second half, and 18 to five for the game to secure the shutout.
“To get another shutout against a dangerous attacking team in Niagara is a great accomplishment,” said Head Coach Krissy Turner.
Knaub’s clean sheet last Wednesday also added to a long list of personal accolades as she moved into fourth in program history in shutouts.
The conference-sealing victory extended Monmouth’s winning streak against Niagara to 13 consecutive games while improving their all-time head-to-head record to 13-1-0.
With the win, Monmouth’s record improved to 13-3-1 overall in 2018 and 8-1 in MAAC play, while Niagara fell to 8-6-2 overall and 4-5-2 in the conference.
Over the University’s fall break, women’s soccer went 2-0 with victories at conference rivals Marist and Fairfield.
Marist was taken down first on Oct. 10th by a score of 1-0 with the only goal coming on a Johnson free kick from the left sideline.
Next came Fairfield as the Hawks closed out fall break on Saturday, Oct. 13th with a 4-1 road victory.
“We are very excited to secure the number one seed for the upcoming tournament with one game remaining,” said Turner.
The Hawks will conclude their regular season tonight against Iona for Senior Night at Hesse Field on the Great Lawn. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPN+.
PHOTO TAKEN by Karlee Sell