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Women’s Lacrosse Has Learning Experience After Tough Losses

The Monmouth University women’s lacrosse team played their second and third games of the season this past week, facing Rutgers and Navy in tough losses for the Hawks.

The Hawks first faced nationally-ranked Rutgers at home on Wednesday, Feb. 15 in what was expected to be a difficult matchup against the top-10 in-state rival. Monmouth opened the scoring with two goals from sophomore midfielder Danielle McNeely, bookending a Rutgers goal from Cassidy Spills. Thanks to McNeely, Monmouth closed the first period with a 2-1 lead. The home team maintained their goal-scoring prowess through the second period courtesy of strong efforts from sophomore attacker Caroline Brennan and junior attacker Mya Brock who scored their fifth and third goals, respectively.

Senior midfielder Maddie Murphy scored her first of the season as well, giving Monmouth five goals in the first half. Rutgers, however, stayed right on Monmouth’s tail, adding three goals of their own in the second period to keep their deficit to just one goal.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, the party stopped there as Rutgers scored seven goals that went unanswered in the second half and to bury the home team 11-5. McNeely and grad student Cassidy Orban also saw yellow cards administered to them for fouls in the third period, an indicator of frustration catching up to the once-dominant Hawks team.

While coming away with a win after leading for two periods would have been nice, the Hawks have no reason to hang their heads, as Rutgers came into the game ranked No. 8 nationally. Head Coach Jordan Trautman lauded her team’s effort, despite the loss: “We are really proud of the work our players put in today. We battled all out for 60 minutes with a top 10, in-state rival and I thought there was just tremendous effort from every single member of our team. There were glimmers of what will be excellent lacrosse later in the season and we are looking forward to growing from this game and getting back on the field Saturday against Navy.”

The Hawks, who once again played at home, saw a similar result against Navy in their next game on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Monmouth took hold of the lead early in the first period thanks to goals from senior midfielder Carli Mangum and Murphy, who scored in her second consecutive game. Navy fired right back with three quick goals of their own to establish a 3-2 lead, and despite sophomore Maddie Flynn’s first tally of the season, a goal from Orban, and a tidy finish from Brennan, the Hawks only managed to knot things up with Navy at 5-5. This tie would be as close to a lead as the Hawks would get for the remainder of the game, never managing to pull ahead of the visiting team.

Navy scored four unanswered goals, with two to end the first period and two to begin the second, expanding their lead to 9-5. Monmouth were not quite done yet though, as they responded with a pair of goals from Brock and Mangum to cut the deficit down to two. Navy answered back with another two of their own before freshman attacker Shea Berigan and Orban once again cut the deficit to two.

The away squad took their 11-9 lead and ran with it in the fourth period, scoring four goals unanswered for the second time, but this time used the run to put the game away for good, sealing a 15-9 loss for Monmouth.

The Hawks’ first opportunity to snap their losing streak will come on Wednesday, Feb. 22 when they play their first away game of the season against Manhattan in Riverdale, New York.