Monmouth University celebrates this weekend with the Men’s Soccer team as they win against Campbell University earning the CAA Regular Season Title. The Hawks share this title with Hofstra as Monmouth will be the number two seed in the upcoming playoffs. Coming off a 1-1 tie against La Salle, Monmouth Hawks flew back onto the field this past weekend.
On Saturday, Oct. 28, Monmouth played on home grass against Campbell. This afternoon game was long and hard as the two teams battled under the sun and in the late October heat. Campbell fired the first two shots before the Hawks took charge. The Monmouth Men’s Soccer team applied the pressure fast as they forced Campbell’s goalie, Sammy Slimi, to make three saves in just the first 31 minutes.
As the game picked up both teams continued to make significantly great plays. It was at about 40 seconds left in the first half when Monmouth took their chance. The ball was pushed into the box where it was then passed to many of the Monmouth Hawks and Campbell Camels. It was here that the ball landed in #7 Ben Zakowski’s possession, where he then shot the ball off his left foot and sent it soaring into the back of the net. This gave Monmouth a 1-0 lead going into the second half.
In the second half, the two teams battled on all sides of the field. This game against Campbell had a lot of great plays from many players, including junior #3 Olle Brorsson who attempted a shot in the 61st minute. Other notable plays were made by junior #8 Erik Reis, where his header flew just high over the crossbar, and #1 Eryk Dymora, when he made his only save in the 82nd minute.
As the game closed, Monmouth finished with a 1-0 victory and claimed a 2-0 lead all-time against Campbell. This was the first time since 1983 the two teams met. During the game, Monmouth had the advantage of a 7-1 shot on goal finishing the match with a 12-8 advantage in shots, with only two corner kicks in the first half and total in game.
This important game also honored the seniors #10 Griffin Tomas, #7 Ben Zakowski, #14 Adrian Nesheim Roseth, #26 Gabriel Miranda, #24 Ulisses Silguero, #27 Markian Tabatchouk, #6 Santi Martinez-Sanchez, and #11 Bastian Hatcher. Throughout the season, these talented young men have played their hearts out in every game.
Coach Robert McCourt acknowledged not only the team but also everyone on all aspects of the team when he said, “Our staff feels great after winning the regular season title. Everyone has worked very hard to put us into this position, from coaches to players and of course our support staff as well. It’s an exciting time for everyone. The team, coaches, and staff have a huge role in where the Monmouth University Men’s Soccer team is currently at and where they intend to go.” Coach McCourt also has a huge influence on the team and its very interesting history.
Taking a look into his almost two decades of coaching for the Monmouth University Men’s soccer team, there have been many accolades accumulated over the years. From 2005 and 2006, awards such as NEC Regular Season Championship, NEC Coach of the Year, and undefeated in NEC play were given to something a bit timelier with McCourt guiding the Hawks to twelve conference regular season titles and six league tournament crowns. From being involved in different areas of soccer such as playing pro and semi-pro, to being involved with the US Olympic Development Program (ODP), to gaining years of experience on a collegial level, this all-around head coach has helped in many of the successes of Monmouth’s victories and continues to do so.
These athletes are also both good students and teammates on and off the field. Coach McCourt said, “These young men are great character student-athletes. This makes it easy for us to work with them every day. They are driven to succeed on the field and in the classroom. At this point in the season, they are battle-tested from all of the prior games.” Monmouth is also hosting CAA tournaments starting Thursday, Nov 2. This game will be a battle between Elon and Stony Brook. The Hawks fly back into action on Sunday, Nov. 5 in the CAA semifinals.