The Monmouth University field hockey team (2-3, 1-0 CAA) suffered two losses against nationally ranked teams, No. 15 Rutgers (3-2) and No. 7 Syracuse (5-1), during back to back matchups this past week.
The Hawks took on the Scarlet Knights at home on Friday, Sept. 9 in their third straight matchup against a ranked opponent. Rutgers dominated the first half of play with 12 shots, but Monmouth goalie Phileine Hazen made 10 saves to keep the score 0-0. However, the Hawks were unable to match this defensive effort up top, managing only one shot through the first two periods.
Monmouth’s offense improved during the second half of play, tallying six shots compared to Rutgers’ three. Neither team was able to score by the end of regulation, sending the match into two periods of overtime before the Scarlet Knights eventually found the back of the net with an unassisted goal from Marique Dieudonne off of a penalty corner in the 71st minute. Rutgers bounced back offensively during both overtime periods, outshooting Monmouth seven to two.
Rutgers tallied 22 shots by the end of the match, while Monmouth trailed behind with a mere nine. Forward Annick van Lange led the Hawks with three shots, supported by forward Katie Yoder’s two shots on net. Although the Hawks struggled on offense, goalie Phileine Hazen led the defensive effort with a total of 15 saves. Rutgers earned 12 corners compared to Monmouth’s four, which ultimately decided the game in the second period of overtime with a goal from the Scarlet Knights off of a penalty corner.
Following their double overtime loss against Rutgers, the Hawks faced off against Syracuse on Saturday, Sept. 11 in another home game against a nationally ranked opponent. Monmouth was unable to withstand the strong offensive effort from Syracuse, allowing three goals from Charlotte de Vries in the first half. Hazen posted a second half shutout and made a total of eight saves throughout the match.
Yoder claimed Monmouth’s only shot of the match in the second half of play, but the Hawks were ultimately outshot by the Orange 15 to one. Of Syracuse’s 15 shots, 11 were on net and three made it past the Monmouth defense into the back of the cage to solidify a 3-0 win for the visiting team.
The match against Syracuse marked Monmouth’s fourth straight contest against a ranked opponent, dropping their record to 1-3 against ranked opponents this season. The Hawks are now 4-7 against Rutgers and 0-5 against Syracuse in the all-time series against both teams. Monmouth has a tough road ahead as the team is slated to compete against six consecutive top-25 teams throughout the next weekend.
Despite both tough losses, multiple Hawks saw their first career starts. Colleen Craven joined the starting lineup against Rutgers on defense. Teammate Maggie Downs also drew her first start in the match against Syracuse as a midfielder.
Up next, the Hawks will play No. 12 Harvard as they face the Crimson on the road on Friday, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m.