Sports

Women’s Soccer Advances to Championship Game

W Soccer 11.01.17Women’s soccer defeated fourth seeded Siena 3-1 on Tuesday afternoon to advance to the Championship of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) tournament.

After closing out the regular season strong, earning them their 5th consecutive MAAC regular season championship. The tournament began on Saturday Oct. 28 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The Hawks impressive 12-3-2 record rewarded them with the number one seed and the eventual semifinal matchup with Siena who was 11-7 and defeated Marist in their quarterfinal matchup.

Monmouth last played Siena on the road on Oct. 11 where they got the 3-1 victory. The Hawks looked to keep on battling and get themselves one step closer to a MAAC championship.

MU was undefeated this season when scoring first, however this was not the case here as Siena got off to the quick start with their header in the eighth minute.

The Saints maintained the 1-0 lead throughout the first half until sophomore midfielder Lexie Palladino put the equalizer in the back of the net for the Hawks from 20 yards out in the 54th minute.

Then in the 76 minute, Palladino continued her huge day breaking the tie with her second goal of the game to give Monmouth the 2-1 lead.

The Hawks weren’t finished here though as less than a minute later sophomore Forward Madie Gibson put the game on ice with a header, clinching the 3-1 victory.

“It was an awesome team win with contributions from every player on our roster. Lexie Palladino took the game over and helped carry us to the victory,” Head Coach Krissy Turner said.

Monmouth outshot Siena 27 to 9 on the day, as sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Knaub only needed one save on the day to help get MU to the championship game.

Earlier in the week the Hawks took on the Niagara Purple Eagles whom they had beaten previously in the season by a score of 2-0 thanks to yet another shutout from Knaub and goals by senior midfielder Miranda Konstantinides and senior forward Rachelle Ross.

Terrific goaltending was yet again the theme on Sunday in the quarterfinal matchup as the scoreboard remained blank at halftime with the Hawks controlling the pace of play but unable to get one past the Niagara keeper. Knaub put up another outstanding effort, finding herself a half away from her 11th shutout of the season.  

“I think we just battled. Every player was going hard into tackles, every player wanted it today and we played a physical game,” said senior defender Gabby Cuevas.

The defensive output certainly showed as the MU defense held the Golden Eagles to 3 shots on the day compared to 17 for the Hawks.

Overtime appeared likely until finally in the 84th minute junior forward Jazlyn Moya passed a ball across the penalty zone to find Gibson who broke the tie with her fifth goal of the season and an impressive third game winning goal on the year.

One goal was all Knaub needed as she closed out her 11th shutout of the season with two saves on the day propelling her team to the semifinals that are taking place on Tuesday.

“We did not play our best, but good teams find a way to win and we were able to do that today,” said Coach Turner after the win.

Turner was proud of her team’s effort but knows they will need to continue to play hard moving forward in order to come back from Disney with the MAAC championship. 

Monmouth will compete in the championship game on Wednesday afternoon against second seeded Manhattan.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics