Fresh off of their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championship win, Field Hockey fell just short of a victory in their National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament game against William & Mary by a score of 3-2 in Williamsburg, VA last Wednesday.
“I couldn’t be more proud of a team with the amount of dedication and belief they had in one another,” said Head Coach Carli Figlio. “I am proud of everyone on this team and what they accomplished this year and extremely honored to be their coach.”
For the third time in program history, Monmouth made the trip to the NCAA Tournament and for the third time failed to advance, losing each game by one goal.
The Hawks were first to score when senior forward Kelly Hanna drove right up the middle of the defense with senior forward Georgia Garden Bachop right by her side. The New Zealand native worked her way down to the post and Hanna sent in a well-timed pass that Garden Bachop tucked in for the 1-0 lead.
The Tribe came storming right back as they blasted four shots off in a row, but were unable to connect on any.
William & Mary finally broke through and answered in the 22nd minute by tipping in a corner shot to tie it up at one.
The Tribe got the next best chance to take the lead with a penalty corner right before the half, but it was unsuccessful.
The second half saw both teams struggle to put points on the board. This was in large part due to the performance of Monmouth freshman goalkeeper Kate O’Hogan, who made a total of ten saves in the match.
Monmouth came right out and took some quality shots that culminated in a corner attempt by Hanna that was neutralized by the hosts.
In the 42nd minute, a penalty stroke was awarded to the Tribe after their goalkeeper was tripped, but O’Hogan was kept from having to make a save as the shot rang off the post.
As if it had been scripted, Garden Bachop broke through for the Hawks in the 63rd minute to put Monmouth up 2-1 with just seven minutes left to go.
But William & Mary wasted little time getting themselves in position to tie it up. The Tribe intercepted a pass from outside of the circle, worked it up the field, and took a shot that earned the team a penalty corner.
With five minutes left in the game, both teams held their breath as the resulting shot rang off of the stick of Tribe forward Annie Snead, who fed senior midfielder Estelle Hughes for the tying goal.
The game would remain tied and enter overtime, where William & Mary was simply the better team. The Tribe took four shots to Monmouth’s zero, and on the fourth shot found twine. With that, the Hawks’ 2018 season concluded.
Monmouth’s elimination from the NCAA Tournament marked the end of collegiate careers for seniors Garden Bachop, Hanna, Okken, and Gab Girardi.
This year’s senior class won four consecutive MAAC Regular Season Championships, made two NCAA Tournament appearances, and won 53 games, which is tied for first all-time.
“This senior class is beyond special; they showed what it meant to be a family, what it means to work and we will miss them tremendously,” said Figlio. “We will work hard off the foundation they laid this year to continue to take steps in the right direction.”
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics