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Sports

Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

Women’s Basketball Splits Weekend Games

The women's basketball team split their weekend as they fell to the Iona Gaels Friday, Jan. 24, but came back to beat the Manhattan Jaspers on Sunday, Jan. 26.

On Friday night, senior center Sara English lead the way for MU by compiling her fourth career double-double. In the game she tallied a career-high 19 points and contributed 10 rebounds. Freshman forward Jenny Horvatinovic contributed a season-high 13 points while shooting 5-of-6 from the floor. Senior forward Chevannah Paalvast also scored 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

As for the Gaels, junior guard Damika Martinez scored a game high 28 points. She is the MAAC's leading scorer averaging 24.2 points per game. Sophomore forward Joy Adams also added a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Early on in the game Iona jumped out to a 9-4 lead before English added a three-point play followed by a jumper to tie up the game. Then Martinez scored on consecutive three-pointers to increase the Gaels' lead to 17-11.

The Hawks kept it to within five points until Iona scored the last 14 of 18 points in the half to increase their lead to 44-29.

The second half began much like the first one ended. Martinez knocked down a pair of threes to increase Iona's lead by 21 points. However, MU trimmed the deficit to 13 points after English scored on a bucket in the post.

The Gaels increased their lead to as many as 24 points when freshman guard Christina Rubin hit a three-pointer with 9:22 remaining in the game. Less than a minute later, the Hawks were trailing 70-53. MU then gained some momentum and went on a 15-0 run, and scored 23 of the next 26 points in the game, to trail by only three points.

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SIDELINES: 01/29/2014

Freshman guard Mia Hopkins was named MAAC Rookie of the Week for her performance this past weekend.

Hopkins averaged 9.5 points and five rebounds in the Hawks two contests against Iona and Manhattan.

Hopkins is now the second Hawk to be named Rookie of the Week. Helena Kurt was given the honor on Nov. 25.


The Monmouth Bowling Team placed 11th in the Kutztown Invitational Event this past weekend. Sophomore Kaitlyn Reth led the team with a pinfall of 1,265 and finished eighth overall. Reth was named to the Second Team All- Tournament for her efforts.

After going 2-3 in matches Saturday the Hawks finished strong by going 3-0 Sunday afternoon. The team next travels to Ormond, Fla to compete in the Wildcat Invitational from Feb. 7-9.


Freshman goalkeeper, Eric Klenofsky, has been named the 2013 NCCA Division I statistical champion for goals-against average. Klenofsky allowed just 0.22 goals per 90 minutes and also had a 0.914 save percentage this season. Both of which were MAAC single season records.


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Alumni Goes Professional

Former Monmouth University men's soccer star goalkeeper Bryan Meredith has signed with the San Jose Earthquakes, the team recently announced. The goalkeeper from Scotch Plains, NJ, joins the Major League Soccer (MLS) club following recent stints with Seattle Sounders FC, IK Brage (Sweden), and the New York Cosmos.

Meredith claimed a pair of all-region first team honors earned two All-Northeast Conference honors at Monmouth. A captain as a senior, he led the NEC in goals against average (0.70), save percentage (84.2%) and shutouts (11) in 2010. Meredith, who was named the NEC Tournament Most Valuable Player in helping the Hawks advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season, ended his stellar collegiate career with 36 shutouts and a 44-7-10 record.

Meredith helped Monmouth to four-straight Northeast Conference Regular Season Titles and back-to-back league tournament crowns.

The Hawks were ranked in the NSCAA National Rankings for the entirety of his senior season.

Men’s Basketball 0-2 in first MAAC Games of Season

Men's basketball lost two tight-knit games this past week after falling to the Rider University Broncs 89-83 on Thursday, Dec. 5 and the Manhattan College Jaspers 75-66 on Sunday, Dec. 8.

MU first played host to their in-state rival Rider in a high-scoring and exciting contest that marked MU's debut in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. "It is great to be in the MAAC conference," said head coach King Rice. "The intensity of that game and everything about it was great. Two teams fought as hard as they could and it was a great atmosphere to be in."

The Hawks came out fast and built a 15-3 lead just three minutes into the game. After falling behind 2-0 in the beginning seconds junior guard Andrew Nicholas hit a three to put the Hawks on the board and help start a 15-1 run for the blue and white. Junior guard Deon Jones highlighted the run by scoring five points and dishing out two assists over the three minutes stretch.

Rider's Zedric Sadler helped stop the momentum when he hit a three pointer from the wing with 15:54 remaining in the first half. The game then began to swing in the Broncs favor and three point shots from Anthony Myles, Tommy Pereira, and Shawn Valentine capped a 20-2 RU run to give them a 23-17 lead half way through the first period.

MU battled back and with four more points from Jones, along with a pretty coast-to-coast layup from freshman Justin Robinson, gave the Hawks back the lead 24-23 at the 8:35 mark. Neither team was able to get momentum completely back on their side after that and each traded baskets over a six-minute stretch with the Broncs gaining a one point advantage with two minutes left in the half.

RU was able to control the final two minutes, however, they scored eight straight points to increase their lead to 42-33 with only 25 seconds before the half. The Hawks then held the ball for the final shot and cut the lead to seven when Robinson made a reverse layup that just beat the buzzer to send both teams into halftime.

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Game On: The Eddy Occhipinti Play

Every day the title of Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing for Monmouth Athletics sends the ball into Eddy Occhipinti's court.

Originally a student enrolled at Monmouth in 2002, Occhipinti graduated with a degree in communication with concentrations in public relations and journalism, as well as television and radio. Upon graduation, Occhipinti was hired in 2006 as an Athletics Communications Assistant in the Communications office at Monmouth University.

"I interviewed for jobs at ESPN and CBS, but I didn't want to leave MU. I wanted to further my education and pursue a Master's degree, which I received in 2009, while working for the Athletics Department," said Occhipinti.

While managing his role of Athletics Communications Assistant, Occhipinti worked on pursuing his Master's degree in communication. Around the same time that he achieved his goal of obtaining his highest degree, Occhipinti was promoted to the Assistant Director of Athletics Communications. The Athletic Department kept him under that title until the 2010-2011 school year when he was once again moved.

"For the 2011-12 school year, I was into the role of Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing, where I have served since. I take pride in the fact, and am very fortunate, that I was able to work my way up while staying at Monmouth," said Occhipinti.

Despite being a communication major initially, Occhipinti found himself in the new waters of marketing with his most recent job. "Monmouth made the decision for me to venture into marketing, and it has been great," he continued. "I have been learning new stuff every year and I really enjoy what I do."

Despite being in his current position for about two years, Occhipinti says that there is no such thing as a consistent daily routine. "The best part about working in college athletics is that 'a typical day' doesn't exist. Some days start very early and go very late, other days are dedicated to traveling and others include a bit of everything. This isn't a nine to five job, and I love that part about it. Our schedule will change depending if we have a game, or how many games we have in a given day, and if we are traveling or not," Occhipinti stated.

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Ice Hockey Struggles Against Rowan University

The University's men's hockey club team was defeated by the American Collegiate Hockey Association's (ACHA) No. 4 ranked Rowan University Profs on Friday, Dec. 6 in their fourth match up at home. The men were coming off a huge win in a tournament held by Liberty University two weekends ago, and with ambition, attempted to keep their winning streak alive.

MU was outmanned 14:21 due to injuries but they were determined to not go down without a fight. Eleven seconds into the game, the Profs scored on their first shot on goal to gain an early 1-0 lead. The Hawks retailiated with a score of their own as sophomore center, Kyle Blazier, scored an unassisted goal to put MU on the board and tie the game at 1-1.

The momentum did not stop there as the Hawks forechecked and kept the puck moving towards the net. A bad bounce by the Hawks led Rowan to score their second goal of the game. MU rallied and attacked the net every chance they had, but they just could not get bounces to go their way. Rowan cashed in on a few more goals to end the first period at 5-1.

In the second period, MU decided to change their game plan as they started out very defensively minded with lots of backchecking. This tactic seemed to work for the first five minutes of the period, until Rowan got lucky with a deflection shot that swept right past MU goaltender Stephen Bonora to make the game 6-1.

Even though they were down, the Hawks were not quite out. With two minutes left in the second period, the Hawks made a goalie change and brought in graduate student, Chris Liljstrand. In his first action of the day, he was able to make a nearly impossible glove save on Rowan.

"Chris came into the game and really settled thing down from the back end," MU junior center Steven Romano stated. "He made several nice saves to start the third period."

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Track & Field Place First in the MAC Classic

The men's and women's track and field teams both finished in first place during the Fifth Annual MAC Classic on Saturday, Dec. 7. The Classic marked the beginning of their indoor seasons and the first season the team will appear in the Metro Athletic Atlantic Conference. The men and women's track and field team remains undefeated in The MAC since its doors opened in 2009.

The Hawks swept the women's top five in the pole vault with junior Lauren McDonald leading the way as she cleared a height of 11 feet, 6 ¼ inches. Sophomore Brittany Papa placed second to McDonald while freshman Casey Sturts followed. Sophomore Tracey Masterson and freshman Danielle Cruickshank completed the women's top five. The men's pole vault left the spotlight on sophomore Colton Lambert who recorded a height of 14 feet, 2 ¾ inches to take second place in the competition. Sophomore teammate Tyler Poland finished in third place.

Freshman Anastasia Atkinson and sophomore Rayn Moses earned second and third place respectively in the women's long jump event. The men's long jump saw two MU freshmen, George Alexandris and Austin Merritt, finish in first and second place respectively.

MU sealed the top four finishes in the women's triple jump as junior Kim Price placed first with a jump of 37 feet, 4 ½ inches. Atkinson took second, Moses took third and freshman Victoria Miskel finished fourth. MU's Liam Vogt placed second in the triple jump.

The high jump featured sophomore Michaela Read who jumped 5'5 to secure a third place finish for the women's side. Senior Ed Kramer was the top finisher for MU's men's high jumpers as he cleared 6 feet, 4 ¼ inches.

MU placed first in both the men's and women's shot put. Senior Errol Jeffrey threw 59 feet, 10 ¼ inches to take first overall out of 21 competitors. The distance also qualified him for the IC4A's. Sophomore Tevin Kirby-Stewart placed third overall for the men.

The women's shot put was won by senior Rachel Aliotta who threw 46 feet, 3 ¼ inches. The distance also qualified her for the ECAC's. MU captured third place as well in the shot put with a throw of 39 feet, 8 ¾ inches from senior Tilah Young.

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SIDELINES: 12/11/2013

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America announced that three women's soccer players were named to 2013 NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Women's All-Northeast Region Teams.

Senior forward Dana Costello was named toe the All-Northeast Region Second Team for the second year in a row.

Both junior back Alexa Freguletti and freshman forward Alexis McTamney were named to the third-team all-region. 


Senior throwers Errol Jeffrey and Rachel Aliotta were named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Performers of the Week. This title came after their performance at the MAC Classic on Saturday, Dec 7 where Jeffrey won the shot put and the weight throw. Aliotta won the shot put and placed second in the weight throw. 


The women's basketball team won their first game of the season on Tuesday, Dec. 3 when they took on the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Senior Chevannah Paalvast scored 20 points on the night and added a career high three blocks.

The Hawks next play Saturday, Dec. 14 when they host LIU Brooklyn. 


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Men’s Basketball Wins Tournament

The men's basketball team (3-4) gained momentum at home over the weekend, winning the championship of the Barclays Center Classic with a dramatic 81-79 victory over Mississippi Valley State University Delta Devils and a convincing 76-61 win over North Carolina A&T Aggies. Juniors Dion Jones and Andrew Nicholas were co-MVP's of the tournament.

The Hawks were up 79-75 after a driving layup from Jones with 29 seconds to go, but the Devils' James Currington was able to score quickly to close the gap to two. After two missed MU free throws, by sophomore Christian White, the Devils were able to find Currington again for the game tying lay in with six seconds remaining. After a timeout from the Hawks, Jones took it upon himself to go coast to coast, weaving through all MVSU defenders, and finished with an acrobatic layup as the buzzer sounded to give the Hawks their second victory of the young season.

"It was just a great feeling," said Jones. "All my teammates came up to me and it was just awesome."

In the first half of the game against MVSU, the Hawks looked to still be reeling from their previous losses shooting 9-22 from the field and 2-7 from deep and went in to half trailing by eight. "It was hard matching up with what they were doing," said head coach King Rice.

To begin the second half, the Devils built a 13 point lead with 16:00 left in the game. The momentum of the game did not start to sway in MU's favor until junior Andrew Nicholas got hot from long distance. In a three minute span, Nicholas netted four three's.

The Hawks went off on a 17-4 run to tie the game and took their first lead of the game on a three pointer from junior Max Dileo. In the second half, MU shot 58 percent from the field and only missed one of their seven attempts from three point range.

"They outplayed us for most of that game," Rice continued. "I'm so proud of our guys because we didn't play our best game today. But the thing that we showed is that we fight."

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Football Defeated in Final Game of Season

kb-asanteThe University football team was defeated by co-Northeast Conference Champion, the Duquesne Dukes, 33-23 in the final game of the season on Saturday, Nov. 23.

"We had an opportunity going into today's game to finish with seven wins," said MU head coach Kevin Callahan. "I don't think we played well enough, particularly in the first half, to come away with a victory. When you play against a good team, a conference champion, it makes it very difficult. I was happy with the way we rebounded in the second half to get the score even. We were looking to get another stop and get the go ahead score but we were unable to do that. I feel badly for the seniors who are leaving the program, in that we were unable to get them a win in their last game."

The Hawks offense was able to move the ball on a stellar Duquesne defense. Leading the way was junior quarterback Brandon Hill and senior running back KB Asante. Hill completed 18 of 31 passes for 273 yards while adding three touchdown passes. Asante added 124 rushing yards on 27 carries.

With his 124 yards on the ground, Asante eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau. Junior running back Julian Hayes was able to achieve that feat the previous week against the Bryant Bulldogs. Asante and Hayes' impressive seasons, mark the first time the Hawks have had two 1,000-yard rushers in one season. The Hawks are also the only Football Championship Subdivision team to have two running backs pass the 1,000-yard mark.

Coach Callahan recognized the excellence of his potent running back duo. "Having two backs over 1,000 yards is a tremendous accomplishment both for KB and Julian," maintained Coach Callahan. "I think you need to give a lot of credit to the work our offensive line did throughout the year, providing the holes and the blocking for them to run. They are both two very hard workers and they are back next year. I know that while they are disappointed with the outcome of today's game and possibly overall record of the season, they are happy and they should be about their individual accomplishments."

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Beyond the Football Field with Running Back Julian Hayes

The sun began to set on a beautiful New Jersey November day as the sweat trickled down Julian Hayes' forehead. Out of breath he began to mutter, "I can't quit, not yet, not now." There was no crowd, no coaches, no other players. As the 5'11 215 lb. running back picked up his head and started running towards the opposite goal line, someone might ask why he was doing so, only days after the twelve game grueling season which saw him rush for a new career high with arguably the toughest schedule that the Monmouth University football team had ever seen.

Hayes grew up in Middletown, Connecticut and was raised in a single parent household with his mother Jessica Hayes. When he turned seven, he found football. "I felt at peace ever since I started playing. It's a great game and I fell in love instantly," Hayes said.

Jessica Hayes added that her son was always drawn to football. "I could see it in his eyes. It was his love, his passion, from the very beginning," Jessica Hayes continued. "I knew he was destined for great things. The day he started playing football, everything changed for him and I told myself he had found his niche."

Hayes attended Xavier High School. He helped lead the Falcons to a 9-2 record and a Southern Connecticut Conference Championship as a senior. In his senior year, he rushed for over 1,400 yards and 23 touchdowns. After high school, he decided to take his talents to the Hun School to do a post-grad year in order to get a scholarship offer.

"I knew that I needed a scholarship in order to pay for college," said Hayes. "I was willing to do anything I had to do in order to get to the next level."

At the Hun School, he made even more progress as a player and was named to the Star Ledger First Team All-Prep. Even then, it was not until the following June (five months after National Signing Day) when MU came to visit him at the Hun School and offered him a scholarship.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu