The Monmouth University women’s lacrosse team reigned victorious over Long Island University (1-3) and Central Connecticut State University (0-4), making them undefeated in the 2020 season.
On Wednesday afternoon Feb. 19 the Hawks welcomed the Long Island University (LIU) Sharks and came out on top with a 20-13 win. Junior attacker Caroline Bleck scored seven goals throughout the duration of the match, which is a career-high for her. The performance earned her Offensive Player of the Week honors.
“She was really strong today and had a nose for the cage in an aggressive way,” said Head Coach Jordan Trautman. “She is somebody that we have wanted to elevate her game and have pushed her and she has been responding. Today was evidence of her stepping up and taking responsibility for some of the things she has been working on and producing in a game.”
Along with Bleck’s offensive performance, senior midfielder Rachel Mills and senior attacker Nicole Ceraso both executed hat tricks during the game. This is Ceraso’s second consecutive game scoring seven points, as well as accumulating four assists on other goals. Senior attacker Allison Turturro scored four goals against the Sharks, bringing her career total up to 99 goals.
Ceraso scored the first goal for the Hawks about thirty seconds into the first half. LIU responded with three consecutive goals, two of which were free position shots accomplished by senior midfielder Alyssa Mallery and junior attacker Rachel Masullo.
In a span of less than four minutes, Monmouth scored five goals, two by Bleck, one by Ceraso, a free position goal by Mills, and one by senior attacker Sarah Gillogly. After a back and forth of goal scoring by both teams, the first half ended with the Hawks up on the Sharks 11-8.
Going into the second half of the match senior midfielder Chloe Novak scored a free position goal less than six minutes into the half, to advance the Hawks 12-8 over the Sharks. LIU responded with a goal less than thirty seconds later and the rest of the match was a slew of goals from both teams, but the Sharks couldn’t hold Monmouth and the match ended 20-13 in the Hawks favor.
“I thought we played as a team today,” said Bleck. “We worked on cleaning up our stick work and the offense really pulled through. We work the best as a unit and everyone played their part today.”
Monmouth’s second game this week was away at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) against the Blue Devils. Bleck finished with seven points again and Turturro scored twice, one of them being her 100th career goal. The Hawks had ten different players score goals and a strong defense, only allowing the Blue Devils to score only once in the second half.
“Defensively we stayed focus for the entire 60 minutes even when our offense held long possessions,” said Trautman. “Everyone stayed dialed in and executed the game plan.”
Sophomore attacker Taylor Emmell opened up with Monmouth’s first goal less than a minute into the first half. CCSU replied with a goal about two minutes later, and then the Hawks went on a run scoring five goals in six minutes. By the end of the first half, the Hawks were up 10-3 over the Blue Devils.
Turturro scored the first goal for Monmouth less than ten minutes into the second half, which CCSU replied with their own a few minutes later, scoring their one and only goal of the half. Monmouth went on to score seven goals during the rest of the half, ending the match with an 18-4 victory.
“Today was a fun day for our entire team and great momentum builder as we go into the next two week of tough play,” said Trautman.
The Hawks will return home next week to welcome Army West Point to Kessler Field on Wednesday Feb. 26 at 2:00 p.m.
PHOTO COURTESY of Andrew Kurtz