Sports

Field Hockey Clinches Regular Season Title

F Hockey 11.01.17The Monmouth University Field Hockey team secured its fourth straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) regular season crown this past weekend with two victories over Bryant and Rider. With the two wins, the Hawks have earned the right to host the MAAC championship next weekend. Monmouth will take a six-game winning streak into the tournament and hope to win it for the second straight year.

Friday’s matchup in Providence, RI featured a balanced offensive showing, four different Hawks scored in route to a 4-1 win. Senior midfielder Rachel Konowal initiated scoring in the seventh minute with an unassisted shot and score from the circle. Konowal then set up senior defender Julie Laszlo in the 22nd minute to extend the lead to two going into the half. Konowal was impressive thorough out the matchup as she registered a total of three points in the game.

Coming out of the half Bryant University was first to strike. The Bulldogs recorded their first and only of the day ten minutes into second period. Junior forward Georgia Garden Bachop responded in the 59th minute by burying a corner chance to once again put the Hawks up by two. Freshman defender Tamar Klinkhammer added a last-minute goal off a corner to finalize a 4-1 win.

“I am excited that we were able to clinch a berth in the postseason with one game to go.  We look forward to Sunday when we honor our senior class and play our in-state rival on ‘The Cat,’” Head Coach Carli Figlio said.

It was a soggy and stormy senior day this past Sunday at “So Sweet a Cat” field as the Hawks endured the elements to come away with a 5-0 shutout over rival Rider. Lazlo registered the first goal of the day off a corner opportunity five minutes into the game. The Hawks never looked back from there as they added four more goals to take a 5-0 lead into the half.

At the start of the second half, the weather had taken a turn for the worse. The rain was coming down in sheets and accumulating in puddles on the field. This slowed down the pace of the game as moving the ball became ever more difficult due to the water. No goals were scored in the second half and the two teams combined for a total of five shots in the second period compared to 11 in the first.

 “The weather did not affect the first half, in the second the field became slow. We wanted to get numbers around the ball and stick to the small passes because big passes would be deadened by the puddles,” Figlio said on the weather.

The Hawk, would go on to win the game 5-0 and with the win become outright MAAC regular season champions.  Senior goalkeeper Christen Piersanti in the win secured her 50th career win and fifth shut out on the season. The defense continued to impress, as a group they let up a combined six shots over the past two games and only two on Sunday. Junior forward Kelly Hanna would be involved on all five goals, scoring on two and assisting on the other three.

“I think we work really hard in practice to keep in shape. We made an emphasis on keeping the ball out and defending the ball outside the circle. We worked really hard before conference play to make sure we had it down,” Piersanti said.

In the week of Oct. 23, Hanna was tabbed as the MAAC Offensive Player of the Week for the third time this season. Hanna led the Hawks offensively against Siena and registered her fourth career multi-goal game and third on the season. 

The Hawks return to action next week as they will play host to the MAAC Championship. Monmouth is looking to achieve their second straight MAAC Championship and will be the number one seed in the tournament when it begins. They will play forth seeded Rider on Nov. 3 at So Sweet A Cat Field.

PHOTO COURTESY of Karlee Sell