In pursuit of another MAAC Championship title Monmouth women’s soccer notched another conference win. The Hawks defeated Quinnipiac with a score of 2-1 Saturday night at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn bringing their season record to 6-3 overall and 2-0 in the MAAC conference.
In the 23rd minute, Monmouth struck first. Sophomore defender Lauren Bruno served the ball and senior Jill Conklin headed it home. The goal gives mid-fielder Conklin her second goal of the season, the 10th of her career and Bruno her first assist of the season.
Conklin continues to build a stellar career at Monmouth. She was a member of the 2018 and 2019 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championship team, 2019 MAAC All-Championship Team, the 2018 MAAC Rookie of the year, and was named to the preseason All-MAAC team in the MAAC’s Preseason Poll for the 2021 season.
Freshman defender, Ava Allen netted the second goal of her career and the game winner less than 10 minutes later. When senior forward Lauren Karabin’s shot hit the crossbar, Allen was able to grab the rebound. Her first shot was blocked by the Bobcats goalie. Allen followed up and sent the rebound past the Quinnipiac goalie to give Monmouth a 2-0 lead going into halftime.
The battle on the pitch remained fierce for the first 25 minutes of play into the second half of the match. Quinnipiac Bobcats’ Selena Salas scored her fifth goal of the year on a penalty kick at the 70-minute mark cutting the Hawks lead in half.
Monmouth was able to hold off Quinnipiac in the end and advance to 2-0 in the MAAC Conference while handing the Bobcats their first conference loss of the season.
“Tonight was a tale of two halves,” said Monmouth Head Coach Krissy Turner. Monmouth dominated the first half. At the completion of 45 minutes Monmouth lead by 2 and were in control with 8 shots to Quinnipiac’s 1.
“We got off to a great start and capitalized on our chances, and in the second half it was much more of a battle,” said Turner. Monmouth took advantage of their opportunities in the first half and were able to hold off a strong Quinnipiac team at the completion of the 90-minute match.
The tightly contested battle saw a total of 16 shots, ten corner kicks, and a whopping 24 fouls. Four of the Quinnipiac players were handed yellow cards during the match. Monmouth goalie Maddie Ogden had three saves and one goal against for the Hawks improving her record to 3-2.
Conklin and Allen’s goals proved to be enough to put the team in second place behind Niagara (8-1-0) in the MAAC Conference. The Monmouth University women’s soccer team has been chosen to claim the top spot in the MAAC’s Preseason Poll ahead of the 2021 season.
Halfway through the 17-game schedule Turner felt, “the energy from our reserves was fantastic and showed a commitment to the team and our overall effort.” In the hunt for its eighth MAAC regular season championship and fifth MAAC Tournament Championship, energy and commitment are key elements to the success of a team.
“This was a huge team win and gives us lots of confidence in ourselves as we dive into the rest of conference play,” said Lauren Karabin. Karabin, a team captain, was a member of last year’s team that was defeated by Quinnipiac 1-0 and recalls the devastating feeling of losing on their home turf in the last 15 minutes of play.
Karabin said, “it’s always a battle with them and the second half showed that, but we were able to grind it out and finish the game with a win.”
Up next for Monmouth’s women’s soccer is conference opponent Rider University (2-5-1). The Hawks will travel to Lawrenceville, NJ on Wednesday, September 29th and kickoff is at 7:00 pm. In their last meeting on March 30, 2021 Monmouth won a tight match with two goals late in the second half.
The girls have also just recently received the United Soccer COaches Team Academic Award for the 24th straight season
Come cheer the team on at their next home match against St. Peters on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 6:00pm at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn. You can follow the team on Twitter and Instagram at @MonmouthWSOC.