Men’s Lax Shakes Off SJU, Dusts Hampton in First CAA Win

The Monmouth University men’s and women’s lacrosse teams faced off against Fairfield and Towson, respectively, on Saturday, April 15, with both Hawks teams coming up short in their matchup.

On the men’s side, Monmouth played Fairfield for the first time and fell just short of the win at a final score of 15-14. Fairfield came out strong in the first, putting up the first two goals of the game and four more throughout the first quarter to make the score 6-3 at the end of the first period. Fairfield again found the back of the net first to open the second quarter, but Monmouth was quick to respond with a goal of their own from freshman attacker Ty Caffarelli, his third of the game after notching two in the first.

The teams traded goals throughout the second period, but Fairfield stayed well ahead of the Hawks and went into halftime up 10-6.

Coming out of halftime, Monmouth scored the first goal of the third period off of a shot from Caden Kesselring. Fairfield’s Will Consoli responded with a goal, only to be met with another Hawks goal from Caffarelli, his fourth in the matchup. The Stags closed out the quarter with a last-minute goal from Max Paparozzi, making the score 13-10 going into the fourth.

Luke Cole and Sean Ketchen found the back of the net for Monmouth in the early stages of the final period, cutting Fairfield’s lead to just two goals. After trading more goals, it was a one point game between the Hawks and the Stags, 13-12, with less than five minutes left to play. Fairfield’s Davis Allen scored twice in under a minute to end Monmouth’s 4-1 scoring run and push the Stags ahead 15-12.

Senior midfielder Matt Karsian notched a goal for Monmouth, followed closely by another from Cole, but it was too little too late as the Hawks found themselves still down by one at the end of the fourth, falling 15-14 in the matchup.

With the loss, Monmouth fell to 1-4 in CAA play this year. However, it wasn’t all negative for the Hawks. Caffarelli set a new career-high with five goals and leads the team with 25 goals on the season, a new single-season program record. The freshman also has five man-up goals this season, good for third on the single-season list. Senior midfielder Matt Soutar won 22-of-33 faceoffs, the second most in a game in team history. His 11 ground balls in the matchup mark the fourth time he has picked up double digit GBs in a game this year, bringing him to 97 on the year, the most in a season in team history.

Kesselring had three points in the matchup from two goals and an assist, bringing him to five goals and three assists this season. Graduate attacker Cade Stratton had a goal and two assists to add to his team high 31 points on the season, with 20 goals and 11 assists. Karsian and Cole each notched two goals for Monmouth while Connor Macrae dished out two assists. Despite the strong offensive effort and slight edge in shots on goal (27-24), Monmouth was unable to pull ahead of Fairfield.

On the women’s side, the Hawks suffered a difficult 21-14 loss against Towson. The Tigers jumped out to an early lead after scoring the first eight goals of the matchup, a deficit Monmouth never managed to come back from. Junior attacker Mya Brock and sophomore attacker Grace Curtin put up two goals for the Hawks at the end of the first period, but Towson had the final word as the Tigers’ Lindsay Marshall scored with just 15 second left in the quarter to make the score 9-2.

The second period proved to be a much more even matchup between the two teams with both Monmouth and Towson posting four goals. Sophomore midfielder Danielle McNeely got the Hawks on the scoreboard first, but Towson quickly responded with a goal of their own. Caroline Brennan found the back of the net twice while teammate Brock posted another goal just before halftime, but the Hawks were still in a hefty 13-6 deficit after the first two periods of play.

Senior midfielder Marissa Lagera put up a goal for Monmouth coming out of the half, but Towson went on a four goal run to further extend their lead, 17-7. Curtin and Shea Berigan each scored a goal to end the quarter on a high note, but the Hawks still found themselves trailing by eight goals going into the final period of play.

Monmouth never stopped fighting and outscored the Tigers 5-4 in the fourth quarter thanks to goals from Mary Kate George, Maddie Flynn, and Berigan. Flynn scored all three of her goals in the final period, a career-high for the sophomore, and added to the underclassmen offensive effort that accounted for 10 of the Hawks’ 14 total goals in the matchup. Despite the strong fourth quarter, it was too little too late as Monmouth found themselves unable to dig themselves out of the hole from the first quarter.

Although the final score says otherwise, the Hawks were a strong contender in the matchup. They matched their season-high with seven free position goals in the game and had a season-high 16 saves, 14 of which came from senior Kennedy Fruit. Cassidy Orban picked up her 200th draw as a Hawk, making her the third player in program history to reach that mark as she joined Megan Hart (294) and Kristina Vangeli (232). Curtin returned to the Hawks’ lineup for the first time since Feb. 10 against George Mason and posted two goals, two assists and five draw controls. Brianna Falco had a season and team-high seven draw controls in the game while Brennan scored a pair of goals to extend her point streak to 33 straight games.

With both teams coming off of tough losses, the Hawks are back in action on Saturday, April 22 as the women host William & Mary at 11 a.m. and the men host Towson at 2:30 p.m.