Featured (List) Sports

The Road to Monmouth Soccer

The Monmouth Men’s soccer team has been the talk of the school for the past couple of weeks, and all for good reasons. As the team sprang back into action on Sept. 12, they versed the LeMoyne Dolphins, where they took home the win with a score of 2-0. Players such as #7 Ben Zakowski (forward), #28 Arturo McConnochie (forward/midfield), and #8 Erik Reis (midfield) stormed the field to help take down LeMoyne. In the first half, at just 54 seconds, Zakowski, with the help of Griffin Tomas (#10), rocketed the ball into the back of the net putting Monmouth on the scoreboard. The Hawks worked hard and fast keeping the pressure on LeMoyne as they took the 1-0 lead into the next half.

The second half was no different when Monmouth scored another point in the last five minutes of the game. Its shooter? No other than Ben Zakowski who has already scored a total of five goals this season. Monmouth then rushed into their next battle on Saturday’s (09/06/23) game against Drexel. The Hawks fought long and hard in this particular game when it was proved that Monmouth was roughly matched. Drexel had a 6-5 shooting advantage in the first 45 minutes.

Monmouth’s determination shone through as the second half began when they attempted to score four times in the first 15 minutes. Drexel had the upper hand where in the 81st minute, their midfielder, #16 Patrick Short was able to hit a shot barely inside the crossbar for the goal. As the final minutes passed,
Monmouth had struggled to get one past Drexel. With just about 17 seconds on the clock, the ball was in sophomore #21 Patrick Osiecki’s possession, who passed the ball to McConnochie who then powered the shot into the back of the net. Sending the crowd into fits of celebration, the score had become tied with less than 11 seconds on the clock. The game ended in a 1-1 tie with the help of Osiecki, McConnochie, and many other hardworking teammates. This incredible goal ended up as Arturo McConnochie’s first career goal with the Hawks.

With the Monmouth Men’s Soccer team and its players gaining more recognition as the season kicks straight into gear, many wonder what preparation, training, and conscious decisions go into the following weeks. Head Coach, Robert McCourt, says that they are grateful for this group of talented young men stating, “…they take care of their work on the field and their work in the classroom.”

McCourt explained the rigorous training that they go through to prepare for the games, “Our normal practices consist of two games in a week, so a lot of it is the day after a game, which is a recovery session. And then a lot of times the day before a game is called the pregame session, where we’ll work on our shape. To work on free kicks, set pieces, things of that nature. And then if we have an extra day before a pregame session, we’ll try to do exercises that mirror what the game will look like, so we’ll do a possession session, shooting sessions, exercises, things like that.” Coach McCourt explained how there are a lot of games played in such a short period that it is necessary for this schedule to keep the team in the direction they are in.

When asked if there was any pressure from fans or the team to win in the new conference
McCourt expressed, “It’s a very difficult league from top to bottom…CAA…everybody is as strong as the other one, the top team can lose to the team that’s at the bottom of the rankings and vice versa. But the team is up for the challenge…there is no pressure, we go and play the games… They (The Monmouth Men’s Soccer Team) are really focused and driven and really are working their socks off…we are going to face adversity; we are going to face real difficult teams…we’ve learned an awful lot about our guys, and I think we know what we need to do well enough to win CAA games.” McCourt continues with, “I respect all the coaches in the league. The teams in the league are solid and some of them have unbelievable facilities so it’s definitely a step up, but the guys are ready for the challenge.”

Not one player can be credited for the team’s successes. Soccer is a team sport and one can see the chemistry and trust the team has with one another. Join the Hawks on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, as they compete against Saint Joseph’s in yet another Monmouth home game