Field Hockey Falls Short of NCAA Dream in Semifinals Loss

The top-seeded Monmouth University field hockey team saw their 2022 season end in disappointment in the CAA Championship Semifinals at the hands of the No. 4 ranked Drexel Dragons by a score of 3-1 on Friday afternoon in Newark, DE.

In their first season as a member of the CAA conference, the Hawks won the conference’s regular season title and entered their matchup with Drexel as the No.1 ranked team in the tournament.

Graduate forward Annick van Lange opened the scoring with her nation-leading 24th goal of the season as time was winding down in the first half. Even though her initial shot was blocked, the 2022 CAA Offensive Player of the Year tracked down the rebound and whipped a whistling backhander against the grain into the far corner of the net. van Lange stayed busy as usual; the Hawks talisman attempted nine shots but was only fortunate enough to come away with one goal. Her 0.111 shooting percentage was her lowest in a game this season in which she has scored at least one goal. Her shots-on-goal percentage of 0.333 was also her lowest in a game in which she has recorded at least one shot on goal. Freshman midfielder Meis Kengen was the only other Hawk to register a shot on goal.

The Hawks took their 1-0 lead into halftime as goalkeeper Phileine Hazen made four saves in the first 30 minutes of play. The freshman netminder was previously named to the All-CAA First and All-Rookie teams Thursday, as well as winning the conference’s Rookie of the Year Award.

The Dragons rediscovered their offensive touch early in the second half, capitalizing on a heavy momentum swing and knotting the game up on a corner just 23 seconds into the third quarter. Hazen stood tall in net and produced a slew of saves throughout the game, but Drexel converted on a corner try in both the third and fourth quarters to take a 3-1 lead. Isabel Jacobs assisted the first two goals, scored by Avery Powell and Stephanie Oleykowski, before adding one of her own, which ended up being the nail in the coffin for the Hawks.

Despite matching Drexel in shot attempts, Monmouth was unable to convert these scoring chances. Unfortunately, the game was a story of opportunism with the Dragons getting more of their shot attempts on target and thus converting their chances when they got them.

Hazen’s busy and spectacular day in goal would end early in the fourth quarter, spending the majority of the final frame pulled in favor of an extra attacker as the Hawks sought the elusive two goals needed to extend their season. Even after pulling Hazen for an extra attacker with about 10 minutes remaining, the Hawks were unable to score any goals, putting an end to another remarkable season for the program.

The Dragons braved the storm and managed to hold on for the win, subsequently advancing to their first CAA Championship Final since 2012. In the final, the Dragons faced off against No. 2 ranked Delaware, where they would eventually lose 6-1. With their win, Delaware claimed their ninth CAA title in 10 years and thus advanced to the NCAA tournament.

“It was a great season of many firsts. I’m proud of the team and how they played all year long. I’m very thankful for all my fifth years and seniors for all they have done for the program,” said Monmouth Head Coach Carli Figlio, whose team finished their 2022 season with a 10-8 record and continued a seven season streak of posting 10 or more victories.