Field hockey’s season comes to an end after a tough loss against William & Mary in the CAA Championship on Sunday, Nov. 5.
This was the first CAA postseason matchup between these two teams, although they came face to face for the second time this 2023 season. Just a few short weeks ago on Oct. 20, these two went head to head for the sixth time in the all-time series. It was a very even matchup, but unfortunately, Monmouth fell short at the very end when the Tribe was able to score midway through the third and walk away with the win 3-2.
Considering William & Mary was leading the series 6-0 leading up to this match, Monmouth was hoping to grab hold of the win in the CAA Championship but was instead faced with the same result as the last matchup.
To open up the scoring gates was no other than junior Sofia Fouces, who took a long pass and made her way up towards the end line before rocketing the ball into the cage and capturing her league-leading 18th goal of the season just 9:42 in the first quarter. The unassisted goal marked Fouces’ 14th game in which she has scored. She leads the CAA in points (42) and goals (18).
This goal gave Monmouth the advantage throughout the rest of the first quarter and into the second. The Tribe took their chances as they outshot Monmouth 5-2 in the first half, but the ball did not find the back of the net until the second half.
Tribe’s Lauren Curran equalized the game just 2:07 into the second half from Kellen Richbourg, who carried into the circle and passed to Curran. Curran backhanded a shot right into the net for one of her three goals for the Tribe in the afternoon.
The score did not stay tied for long when graduate student Aylin Aufenacker gave the Hawks the lead once again nearly nine minutes later. After an initial contested shot and rebound to give her a second chance, she would find the back of the cage and earn her fourth goal of the season and 27th of her career.
William & Mary dominated the fourth quarter, throwing nine shots at freshman goalkeeper Jessie Eiselin. With four consecutive corner opportunities, Curran got on one with just under five minutes remaining in regulation to tie the game 2-2. Audrey Domovich for William & Mary attempted an initial shot on goal but was stopped by goalkeeper Jessie Eiselin. Curran was quick and right there to take the rebound back into possession and find the back of the net.
Neither Monmouth nor William & Mary were able to get any more on the board with the time remaining and went into overtime.
In the first overtime frame, chances from both the Hawks and the Tribe were put up, but none were able to break the draw. A second overtime was instituted.
On the second penalty corner of the second overtime and fourth overall in extra frames, Pyper Friedman for William & Mary found Curran at the top where her shot at goal deflected off of Eiselin’s pad and into the net, earning their spot in the NCAA tournament.
The Tribe outshot Monmouth 24-13 overall and 9-3 in extra frames.
The Hawks end their season with a 12-6 record overall and their second consecutive CAA Regular Season Title.