Sports

Women's Lacrosse Rides Three-Game Win Streak

W Lacrosse 03.27.19Women’s Lacrosse won both of their games this past week, cruising by Central Connecticut State 12-3 on Wednesday at Kessler Stadium and defeating Niagara 13-12 on Saturday on the road in New York.

In the game against Central Connecticut State, Monmouth gave up the first goal just over a minute into the match, but the Hawks replied with three unanswered goals from junior attacker Nicole Ceraso, who finished the day with a tally of four goals and four assists for the Blue and White. After her performance Ceraso now has 88 career assists which is only four away from tying the second place record for career assists. “We’ve been focusing on spreading out on our cuts in the past few practices and that resulted in us connecting on more passes,” said Ceraso.

Also contributing to the offensive outburst for the Hawks were juniors midfielder Rachel Mills and attacker Allison Turturro, who scored three goals each while senior attacker Logan Smet and sophomore attacker Allison Stofregen each netted one. On the defensive side, senior defender Monica Cortes had an outstanding performance by gathering nine ground balls and forcing five turnovers.

Monmouth not only dominated on the scoreboard but on the stat sheet as well. The Hawks were able to get off 42 shots while the Blue Devils only had nine, with just two in the first half. Monmouth also led in the draw circle 14-3. In this game, the Hawks set a season high for ground balls with 36.

The Blue and White committed 14 less turnovers than the Blue Devils while also causing seven more turnovers as well. Nine different Hawks forced at least one turnover in Wednesday’s game. This dropped Central Connecticut State to a 2-5 record on the year.

The Hawks next headed to NY on Saturday to take on Niagara, where they ended up winning in nail-biting fashion.

“Today was such a great way to start conference play,” said Head Coach Jordan Trautman. “It was 60 tough, gritty, hard minutes of play and we fought through every minute to get the win.”

The Hawks started the game with a 6-4 lead after Stofregen scored her second goal of the game with just under ten minutes to go. Niagara, however, took a 7-6 lead by halftime as they tallied three unanswered goals in the final 5:03 of the half.

The Purple Eagles then started off the second half by adding another three goals within the first eight minutes, making the score 10-6. After trading goals Niagara led Monmouth 12-8 with 17:02 remaining in the game.

Senior attacker Jenny Staines scored with 13:09 remaining to cut the deficit to 12-9. Just four minutes later the score was 12-10 thanks to Ceraso, who scored her second goal of the game. Strofregen scored with 5:18 left and just 15 seconds later sophomore attacker Caroline Bleck scored to tie the game at 12 with 5:03 left to go.

With just 2:35 left on the clock, Stofregen scored the game-winning goal, dropping Niagara in what was the Hawks’ first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game of the season.

“We had some incredible play from sophomores Bleck and Stofregen who were due for a big game and to have them show up and produce the way they did today was crucial to our offensive success,” Trautman said.

They both had big games indeed as they each scored four goals in the winning effort. Stofregen’s performance was her first multi-goal game of her career. Bleck’s tally matched her career high, tying her game against Sacred Heart earlier this season. Staines also played a vital role in the win, scoring a hat trick while also adding an assist for the Hawks.

After Monmouth’s victory over the Purple Eagles they improved to 7-3 on the season with a 1-0 record in the conference, while Niagara fell to 3-6 with a 0-1 record in the MAAC. With these wins, Monmouth is on a three-game win streak while also winning four of their last five.

The Hawks are up against Iona today in New Rochelle, NY before heading back home to Kessler Stadium where they will welcome Marist on Saturday. Saturday’s game will begin at 3:00 p.m. and can be streamed live online via ESPN.

PHOTO TAKEN by Karlee Sell