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Sports

Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)

Women’s Lacrosse Opens Season at Towson

W LacrosseThe MU women’s lacrosse team played their first game of the 2016 season against Towson last Wednesday, falling to the Tigers, 9-1.

However, despite the loss, first-year head coach Eileen Ghent is happy to get back on the field and believes her team is ready to make a big impact.

“Even though we lost, we played at a high-speed, and that’s what we want to do as a team,” Ghent said.  “That’s why we play such a good pre-conference schedule—to get us prepared for the season.  Mistakes are acceptable, as long as we have good energy, and play at a fast pace.”

The women’s lacrosse team will kick off conference play on Mar. 26 against Siena.

Ghent took over this year for previous head coach Denise Wescott after serving as an assistant coach for the Hawks the past three years.  She is surprised with how well the transition has gone, thanking Wescott for providing her with great preparation.

“It has been a lot smoother than I thought it would be,” Ghent said.  “Denise [Wescott] gave me a lot of responsibility as an assistant coach, which really helped my development and prepared me to take on this position.”

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Baseball Set to Start Season in Cary, NC

MB Anthony CiavarellaWhile winter remains in full swing in the northeast, the Monmouth baseball team is ready to get their 2016 season started down south.

After finishing 22-24 (14-10) a season ago, the blue and white begin their season with a trip to the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, NC where they will open up against Penn State on Friday, Feb. 19. A double-header against former Northeast Conference rival Bryant will follow on Saturday and a matchup against Army West Point on Sunday completes the team’s first weekend of action.

“We start the season down south for the better weather, but the trip also brings the players closer together as a team,” said head coach Dean Ehehalt, who will be entering his 23rd season at the helm in 2016.

The highlight of the Hawks’ 2016 schedule is a three-game series on March 3-6 against the defending College World Series Champion Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville, VA. This will be the third time in five years that Monmouth will take on the Cavaliers. Ehehalt says he purposely loads the schedule early in the season so the team can face the best possible competition.

“We’ve always played a pretty demanding pre-conference schedule and this year is no different,” Ehehalt said. “If you look at our schedule over the years, our last five to eight years we have played at least twelve games against teams ranked in the top ten. I know at least nine against Virginia and Vanderbilt who are the last two National Champions. We try to play in a regional setting at some point early in the season. This way, it gives us some good feedback where we are as a team.”

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Women’s Basketball Fights Back to Beat Canisius, 79-75

W Basketball Sarah Olsen

The women’s basketball team beat the Canisius Golden Griffins 79-75 Sunday afternoon at the Multipurpose Activity Center, recording their first win of the season after trailing at halftime.

Senior guards Sarah Olson and JamiyahBethune led the way for the Hawks, with Olson scoring 24 points and Bethune recording her first double-double in her career at MU with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

“It’s just another day,” Bethune said of her performance. “I’m happy I got the double-double, but that means that I need to work harder, set the standard for myself and be consistent.”

For the Griffins, senior forward Crysta Porter had 24 points with nine rebounds and freshman guard Maria Welch dominated from behind the arch, hitting all six of her field goals from 3-point range—ending the game with 20 points and seven rebounds.

With the win, MU is now 8-15 (6-8 MAAC), while Canisius falls to 9-14 (4-10 MAAC).

“We have to be more aware of her on the court,” Bethune said about Welch. “We lost her a lot during the game and she made us pay for it. Next game we’re going to lock in on her more.”

In the first quarter, MU got off to a fast start with a 7-0 run which included a deep three-pointer by Olson, forcing Canisius to take an early timeout. The Hawks used an effective full court press defense and forced eight total turnovers in the first.

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Men’s Basketball Keeps Rolling with Two Conference Wins

M Basketball Justin RobinsonThe men’s basketetball team got a taste of what’s to come in the MAAC Tournament as they defeated the Siena Saints on Monday, Feb. 2 93-87 at Times Union Center in Albany, NY as one of their two victories over the past week.

The arena has hosted the MAAC Tournament 11 times since 1990 and will host it again in 2016 from Mar. 3-7. Seven thousand and sixteen fans were in attendance to see junior guard Justin Robinson score a career-high 36 points, becoming the sixth Hawk to do so and the first since Rahsaan Johnson had 40 points in 2001. Siena went into the contest an undefeated 9-0 at home, but MU’s depth proved to be too much as Robinson was one of five Monmouth players to put up double-figures.

“Our kids got going tonight on offense, especially Justin (Robinson) early,” said head coach King Rice. “Both teams can really score the ball and fortunately for us, we scored more than them tonight.”

With the conference tournament being hosted at Siena’s home arena and both teams playing as well as they have been, it has some people thinking that this game could have been a preview of the MAAC Championship game on Mar. 7.

“When Siena gets rolling like they are now, the building fills up and in a month from now, if we play them, the building will be full,” Rice said. “Hopefully, it’s not going to be until Monday night, and we would be in for a hard battle.”

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Men’s Soccer Alum Derek Luke Signed by FC Cincinnati

Derek LukeFormer MU men’s soccer captain and left back Derek Luke signed his first professional contract with FC Cincinnati of the United Soccer League just over a week ago in Ohio.

“Realizing that I signed my first contract was a big moment in my life filled with excitement and a little bit of nervousness,” said Luke, a 22 year-old Bridgewater, N.J. native. “I was very excited of course because it has been a lifelong dream of mine to play professionally, but it also meant moving away from my family and friends back in Jersey. Although, it was an easy decision when the opportunity to play for FC.C. came knocking.”

Luke spent his youth career with the Player Development Academy before joining the Hawks in West Long Branch. The young aspiring professional hit the ground running his freshman year on the Great Lawn playing in all 18 games, starting 16 of them. He finished the season with three goals and one assist, none more notable than his right footed effort which found the top corner against Central Connecticut in the semi-finals of the Northeast Conference Tournament. The goal helped him earn a NEC All-Tournament Team selection in only his first year suited up for MU.

Sophomore year was a wash. After suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the second game of the non-conference slate, Luke was forced to take a medical redshirt. Any injury of such severity puts that much more emphasis on a productive offseason.

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Men’s Basketball Earns Two Conference Wins

Josh JamesFor the first time in nine years, the men’s basketball team picked up a victory in Hamden, CT as the Hawks defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats 66-51 on Jan. 28.

Defense dominated the first half as MU took a 27-20 lead into halftime, 20 points being the fewest they have given up in the first half so far this season. The Hawks continued to play lock down defense in the second half as they held the Bobcats to 15-69 (21.7%) from the floor for the game. Monmouth shot only 33.9% but it was enough for the program to pick up their first victory at TD Bank Sports Center since it opened in 2007. Junior guard Justin Robinson led the scoring with 13 points while junior center Chris Brady added 11 points and seven rebounds.

“I’m very excited about our kids fighting to get this win,” head coach King Rice said. “Our guys are continuing to believe in each other and our defense was tremendous.”

The Hawks returned to their home court on Jan. 30 against Saint Peter’s where they defeated the Peacocks 73-57 in front of a sellout crowd of 4,105. Robinson led MU with 18 points and junior guard Collin Stewart added 17.

Additionally, Stewart is still recovering from a sprained ankle that he suffered in the Jan. 24 matchup against Marist. He was wheeled to the press conference after the game while sitting on top of a food cart, ankle wrapped up with an ice pack. However, there was never a doubt in his mind he was playing in this game.

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Women’s Basketball Loses Two, Olson Scores 1000th Career Point

Sarah OlsonThe women’s basketball team came up just short Saturday afternoon, losing 68-60 to Fairfield University at the Multipurpose Activity Center. Sophomore guard Dana Carbone led the Hawks in scoring with 14 points, 12 of which came off of three-point shots. However, the main milestone of the day came from senior guard Sarah Olson, who scored her 1,000th career point in the game.

“It feels awesome,” Olson said. “It is definitely the exclamation point for my career. It is a great accolade to have.” Olson started her career at NJIT before transferring to Monmouth after the 2012-13 season. She had to sit out a year after the change due to NCAA regulations.

“It speaks to who she is as a player,” head coach Jenny Palmateer said. “It also shows how valuable she has been to us, and we’ve only had her for two years. I’m really excited and happy for her.” Olson finished the day with 11 points and became the second Monmouth basketball player to reach the feat this season, with men’s guard Justin Robinson accomplishing it on Jan. 18.

After a tightly-contested first half, MU built a six point lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Fairfield would respond, however, as the Stags went on a 12-2 run and never looked back. The Hawks then cut the deficit to 4 points at the 6:55 mark in the fourth quarter, but the Stags would answer with another 12 point run, opening the lead to 13 points with 2:29 remaining in the game. A couple three-point shots from Carbone would not be enough, however, as the Hawks fell 68-60 at home.

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Men’s Lacrosse Opens Up Season Against LIU Post

MU LIU LacrosseThe MU men’s lacrosse team kicked off their 2015-16 season on Saturday with a scrimmage against LIU Post on Kessler Field.

After the scrimmage, where no score was reported, head coach Brian Fisher is confident his team will be ready for their first official game against Jacksonville Feb. 14 in Jacksonville, FL.

“The preseason is a grind,” Fisher said.  “The trip [to Jacksonville] will be fun.  It will be good to have some nice weather, and it will be an evenly matched game.”

Last year, MU finished with a 6-8 record, going 3-3 in conference play. All three conference wins were acquired at home. The season earned them a fourth place finish in the MAAC and a playoff bid, where they lost in the first round to #1 seed Marist, 11-6. 

“Home games are always fun,” Fisher said.  “You get the support of the fans, it’s not easy going into a new environment and taking on a team on their home turf.  A lot of our games on the road were close, tough losses.”

The Hawks will lose four seniors from last year, including Garrett Conaway, Ryan Schwartz, Ryan Horsch and Zach Johannes.  However, upperclassmen returning from last year will be graduate student John Castellano and a powerhouse junior class which boasts 24 members.

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Men’s and Women’s Track Ranked Top 10 in Mid-Atlantic

Tionna GarnerThe men’s and women’s track and field teams have earned some tremendous accolades recently, being ranked sixth and eighth in the Mid-Atlantic Region by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

In addition, the men’s team was placed at 46th in the country.

“It’s a great thing, but we still know we have a ton of work to do,” head coach Joe Compagni said about the rankings.  “We’re happy with the numbers and the rankings, but we need to continue to get stronger.”

The Hawks backed up their national and regional status Saturday, posting some great times at the Penn State National in State College, PA.  Junior Dylan Capwell earned fourth place in the 800-meter with a time of 1:47.70, in one of the fastest races in the NCAA this year.  In addition, junior Tionna Garner placed 10th overall in the 800-meter with an MU record mark of 2:09.46.

“They are the leaders of a tightly knit distance group,” Compagni said.  “We knew coming into the weekend they would be lining up with some of the best runners around, and they really pulled through.”

But that isn’t where the Hawks were done breaking school records.  Juniors Lindsey Bellaran and Jenna Cupp placed eighth and eleventh in the mile with times of 4:50.56 and 4:53.69, respectively.  Both earned ECAC qualifying marks and spots at the top of MU’s record books.

Other ECAC qualifiers include sophomore Allie Wilson, who finished first in the unseeded 1000-meter race with a time of 2:55.33.  Freshman Brianna Stratz placed third in the 500-meter race at 1:16.04, and senior Kendal Hand earned seventh place in the 800 with a time of 2:13.55.

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Men’s Basketball Continues Winning Ways over Winter Break

Men Basketball Justin RobinsonAfter an impressive nonconference resume with road or neutral site victories over UCLA, USC, Notre Dame, Georgetown, and Rutgers early in the season, the men’s basketball team has padded their resume for a high seed in the MAAC Tournament and, possibly, an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament over winter break.

The Hawks, who will play Quinnipiac on Thursday, Jan. 28 at the TD Bank Sports Center, went 6-1 during the break and have played Manhattan and Marist since then, falling to the Jaspers 78-71 at Draddy Gymnasium on Thursday, Jan. 21 and defeating the Red Foxes 83-72 on Jan. 24 at home. MU picked up an impressive 110-102 victory at Iona on Jan. 15, snapping The Gaels’ 26 game winning streak at the Hynes Athletic Center. MU’s other loss was a 91-84 defeat to the Army Black Knights up at West Point, NY on Dec. 28.

Junior guard Justin Robinson became the 22nd player in Monmouth history to score 1,000 career points in the Hawks 85-69 victory over Siena on Jan. 18.

“It puts you in the record books of the school and it shows that he’s a very versatile player,” head coach King Rice said of his junior guard’s accomplishment. “I’m sure he will continue to work his way up the scoring list. But the kid that he is, Justin wants what’s best for our program. He would give up all the points if we could win more and continue to win more games next year. That’s just who he is as a young man. That’s what makes him so special to our program and everybody knows we are lucky to have him.”

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Men’s Rivalry with Iona Heating Up

Men Basketball Micah SeabornThere is now an official rivalry in men’s MAAC basketball between the Monmouth Hawks and the Iona Gaels.

After MU’s 110-102 victory that snapped Iona’s 26 game winning streak at home on Jan. 15, there was an altercation when the teams lined up to shake hands after the game. Iona junior forward Jordan Washington slapped Monmouth junior center Chris Brady across the face. A scuffle followed the act and security had to be involved to separate the two teams.

“It was very unfortunate to end the game like that,” Monmouth head coach King Rice said. “We are just trying to be one of the teams at the top and you have to go through a lot of things to get there. This was a big win for our program.”

MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor released the following statement regarding the incident:

“I have reviewed the issues that arose out of the January 15, 2016 men’s basketball game between Iona College and Monmouth University, and I [have] elected to have both institutions take internal necessary actions to prevent further issues and protect student athlete wellbeing.”

Iona suspended Washington for two games as a result of the incident.

Prior to that game, fifth year Iona head coach Tim Cluess had some interesting words to say about the Monmouth Bench.

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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