Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm


Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)

Monmouth Student-Athletes Invited to WSF Connection

WSF ConventionSeven Monmouth student athletes attended the first ever Women’s Sports Foundation Athlete Leadership Connection on October 19, an event specifically designed to inspire and propel female athletes who wish to become powerful leaders in the business world as well as in their sport. Seniors Sarah Olson and Jasmine Walker of Women’s Basketball, seniors Michelle Gonzales and Marial Pierce of Women’s Lacrosse, seniors Danielle Axelrod and Kristen Brett of Women’s Soccer, and senior Nicole Sandelier of Softball were in attendance along with 30 elite world-renowned female athletes, all interested in expanding her potential beyond her sport.

For more than 40 years the Women’s Sports Foundation has educated and enhanced the lives of women and girls through sports and physical activity.  Originated in 1974 by Billie Jean King, the WSF has funded countless awareness campaigns, research studies, and scholarships. Seeking to bring the worlds of professional and collegiate athletes together, the foundation created the Athlete Leadership Connection. This was the first ever Connection and MU’s first experience with the WSF.

“They [The Women’s Sports Foundation] have so many fabulous mentors and role models that the idea of putting our student athletes in the same room with them was just so exciting and so overwhelming.  When they offered the opportunity I just could not wait to get our athletes in front of them. I think it was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Monmouth University Athletic Director Dr. Marilyn McNeil.

The full-day event was held at Morgan Stanley Headquarters in New York City, consisting of panels, interactive workshops, and competitions geared to inspire and propel female athletes beyond their past and present success. Experienced athletes and business industry leaders provided insight and support to attendees through two panel discussions, three breakout sessions, and a competitive session.     

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Football Falls In Overtime To Top Ranked Coastal Carolina

Football GameThe Hawks made history on Sept. 17 as they picked up their first victory against a ranked opponent in program history; a 20-17 overtime win against #22 Liberty in West Long Branch.

Junior running back Lavon Chaney gave Monmouth their largest lead of the day with a one yard run that gave the Hawks a 14-3 advantage with 7:57 remaining in regulation. But Liberty’s offense woke up and drove down the field for two touchdowns of their own on their next two possessions to take a 17-14 lead with 1:11 remaining.

The Monmouth offense was able to drive down the field and convert on a 35 yard field goal by sophomore Matt White to send the game into overtime. The key play of the drive was a 30 yard pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Williams to redshirt freshman wide receiver Reggie White Jr. that got the MU offense into Liberty territory. A 19 yard gain by senior tight end Hakeem Valles two plays later set up the field goal.

“This week in practice we did the two minute drill and won on a Hail Mary,” Williams said. “It’s a critical time. Everyone needs to come together and play as one. We had faith in our line up front and just had to get the ball in our receiver’s hands to get downfield and put Matt White in a position to win this game.”

In overtime, the Hawks defense kept the Flames off the board as they were able to stop them on fourth down. A seven yard run by Chaney got the ball closer and Williams centered the ball in the middle of the field to prevent White from kicking at an angle. The 37 yard attempt was good, and history was made.

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Men’s and Women’s Soccer Clinch MAAC Regular Season Titles

Soccer GameAfter defeating Niagara by a score of five goals to three last Saturday at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn, Monmouth men’s soccer was crowned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Regular Season Champions for the eleventh time in its history and the second time in the last three years.

“It’s unbelievable,” said senior defender and captain David Acuna Camacho after the win on Senior Night. “I think this might be the last time I’m going to play here [at Hesse Field]. No words can describe it, it’s an unbelievable feeling.”

Clinching the MAAC Regular Season Championship was the icing on the cake for the Hawks at the end of what was a highly successful week for the team. A week earlier, on Saturday, Oct. 17, Monmouth drew 0-0 with Fairfield in Connecticut. The following Tuesday, Monmouth men’s soccer was ranked 25 in the NSCAA NCAA Division I Men’s National Poll and 29 position the College Soccer News Top 30 National Poll. The team’s 12-game unbeaten streak up to that point earned the Hawks that national recognition.

“Having that [a national ranking] is just great for our school and great for the guys coming in and great for our confidence, so it’s just great overall,” said sophomore defender Joey Gudzak.

However, while the Hawks’ regular season is drawing to a close on a high, it began in quite an opposite manner. Three successive losses to UMass Lowell, Providence, and Hartford, respectively, was not an ideal way to begin the campaign for Monmouth. But the Hawks bounced back. Monmouth was able to get back on track after that third game against Hartford and they haven’t looked back since.

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Klenofsky Anchors MU Defense in Goal

Soccer 2It is very rare when someone’s childhood dreams reflect their 21-year-old dreams, but Monmouth University’s men’s soccer goalkeeper, Eric Klenofsky, falls under this category.

“I was 11-years-old when my brother and I were discussing what we wanted to be when we grew up. He was about 15 and had just joined the volunteer fire department, so he said he thought he really wanted to be a firefighter. He asked me what I wanted to be and I said a professional soccer player. I literally think about that moment every day of my life,” Klenofsky said.

While Klenofsky has become one of the best goalkeepers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) has ever seen, that wasn’t always his position.

Klenofsky started his soccer career at age five when his father’s co-worker suggested that he sign up for the sport. He played center midfield, center defense, and even forward before ultimately committing to becoming a goalkeeper when he was 11-years-old.

“I was at my best in goal so my coach put me in goal. That was how it began. Then I started to train with Walter Gotrell who I still train with to this day,” he said.

Klenofsky never had any second thoughts about playing division one soccer; the answer was a definite yes. He had countless recruiters watch him play during his high school years at DePaul Catholic, so it became a matter of where he wanted to play.

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Monmouth Tramples Stags In MAAC Opener

Field HockeyThe Monmouth University field hockey team kicked off Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play this past Saturday in Fairfield, Connecticut defeating the Fairfield Stags 2-1 on University Field.  The win was MU’s first conference opener victory since 2013, improving their record to 1-0 in MAAC play and 4-9 overall.

After a 4-3 overtime victory over the Stags in 2014, the stakes had only grown higher.  For three prior seasons the programs have competed, but this year Fairfield officially entered the MAAC conference.  Saturday’s contest was the Hawks’ first victory over Fairfield since 2007.

“It was important to get the road win, but more importantly was starting the league schedule on the right foot,” said Head Coach Carli Figlio. “The defensive side of the field was really strong throughout and it really was a team effort and something we can really build on. We are excited for next week to continue to get better and elevate our level of play.” 

The Blue and White struck first in the 23rd minute when sophomore defender Rachel Konowal carried the ball up the left side and connected with senior midfielder Cori Allen. Allen deflected it from the far post and netted her sixth goal of the season.

Both Allen and Konowal adjusted to new positions on the field this week.  Allen moved up to the forward line while Konowal slid into Allen’s position at high center back.  

“It was not hard to adjust to playing the high center back, it was just a position up from where I was,” laughed Konowal, “It was an easy transition from watching Cori play there so I just tried to emulate how she played the position but I was getting more comfortable at practice this week.”

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Football Haulted By Charleston Southern

FootballThe Hawks opened up Big South Conference play on Saturday as they traveled down to rainy North Charleston, SC where they fell 37-7 to the Buccaneers of Charleston Southern.

MU went three-and-out to begin the game and the Buccaneers came out pounding the football as they picked up four first downs on the ground which led to the first of three rushing touchdowns by junior running back Mike Holloway, this one from five yards out as CSU jumped out to a 7-0 lead.

Both teams would punt in their next possessions. Monmouth punted again but regained possession after a forced fumble and fumble recovery from senior defensive back Joe Johnson. The Hawks were faced with a fourth and three at the CSU 25; MU went for it instead of sending out sophomore kicker Matt White for a field goal attempt into the heavy rain. They failed to convert and The Buccaneers took over to open up the second quarter.

Three-and-outs from both teams set up Charleston Southern at the Monmouth 20 after a punt by White was returned 40 yards by junior running back Darius Hammond. It only took one play for Holloway to score his second touchdown of the game as he ran in from 20 yards out. The snap of the extra point was mishandled, and CSU was unable to tack on the extra point. They still held a 13-0 advantage. The Buccaneers would add three more as freshman kicker Tyler Tekac made good on a 22 yard field goal as CSU took a 16-0 lead into the locker room.

The Buccaneers started the second half on offense and drove 60 yards over seven plays as Holloway found the end zone for the third time from four yards out to make the Charleston Southern lead 23-0. Monmouth punted in both of their drives in the third quarter and CSU got into the end zone in each of their next two possessions leading into the fourth quarter extending their lead to 37-0.

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Men’s Soccer Extends Unbeaten Streak

Soccer 1Monmouth men’s soccer travelled to hOURglass rivals Rider University last Wednesday night, where they drew 1-1 after 110 minutes of play at Ben Cohen Field, bumping their record to 7-3-2, 3-0-1 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference while their opponents moved to 6-4-1, 1-2-1 in the MAAC.

In a matchup of two MAAC heavyweights, goal-scoring opportunities were scarce in the early going. Just before the hour mark, the deadlock was broken. In the 53rd minute, redshirt sophomore midfielder Colin Stripling found space near the corner of the box and ripped a shot at Rider’s junior goalkeeper David Pastuna. While Pastuna made the initial save, he was unable to fully corral the ball and prevent Monmouth from going up 1-0. Freshman defender Danny Figarella popped into the danger area and deposited the ball into the back of the net to give the Hawks the advantage. Monmouth’s breakthrough was Figarella’s second goal of the season. 

Less than ten minutes later, the hosts answered back. Rider’s junior midfielder Adrien Huss sent a ball into the box that was guided into the back of the net by the head of sophomore forward Jose Aguinaga.

Monmouth freshman forward Jalil Blalock responded with a shot from just outside the box that forced Pastuna to tip it over the bar, conceding the corner. The corner kick was cleared over the end line by the Rider defense. The following corner resulted in a header from freshman defender Zachary Pereira that glanced wide right of the Rider net.

Late in the match, Rider turned up the pressure by creating a host of chances, all of which failed. Junior goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky made a pair of saves while junior forward Zach Bond’s shot in the 85th minute flew just off course.

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Men’s Soccer Breezes By MAAC Rivals

Mens Soccer 220x155Monmouth men’s soccer continued their strong opening to Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play by beating the Iona Gaels 1-0 at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn last Wednesday, improving their overall record to 6-3-1 and their MAAC record to 2-0-0, while the visitors dropped to 5-4-1 overall and 1-1-0 in MAAC contention. 

“I feel really good about it [the win],” said Head Coach Robert McCourt, whose team racked up their fourth straight win Wednesday night. “First half I thought we were the better team, second half I thought they were the better team. You get to that stage where you have to somehow grind out ways to win in college soccer, and the first three games of the year we were finding ways to lose. Since those first three games, we’re earning games for sure but we’re finding ways to win and that’s the sign of a good team.”

Iona created the first close chance of the match when a ball was fizzed into the area from the left-hand side. Freshman forward Daniel Huertas had a tap-in, but his shot from point-blank range was right at junior goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky, who reacted quickly to make the save.

After winning the ball off an opponent, freshman midfielder Anderson Asiedu made his way down the field before slipping a through-ball in to junior forward Dave Nigro. Nigro’s left-footed shot from inside the area sailed just over the top left corner.

In the 35th minute, MU took the lead through sophomore midfielder Andrew Gee. The ball was brought to the corner by redshirt sophomore midfielder Colin Stripling, who found his way out of trouble and dished it to senior defender John Egan. From the right corner of the box, Egan sent in a low drive that was slotted into the back of the net by Gee. 

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Men’s Basketball Gears Up for New Season

Basketball 220x134As the weather becomes colder, colleges all over the country head indoors to hit the court for one thing: practice. College basketball practice opened nationally Friday, Oct. 2 with the Monmouth Hawks Men’s team set to start Monday, Oct. 5. 

A lot of changes for 2015-2016 are already forcing the Hawks to adjust. Changes for the season ruled by the NCAA include cutting the number of timeouts each team can use in the second half from four to three. Resulting from this no timeouts will be allowed to be called during the 16-, 12-, 8- and 4-minute breaks. 

Coaches will not be able to call timeouts when the ball is live with very few exceptions. Teams will now have 10 seconds to advance the ball past half court instead of resetting the clock if there is a stoppage that occurs. 

Along with the adjustments of timeouts, the arc underneath the basket will be extended out from 3 feet to 4 feet. This change was made after data showing the reduced number of collisions with the addition of the extended foot mark in the arc. To add insult to injury, teams will also only have 15 seconds, instead of 20, to make a substitution when a player fouls out. The whole process is in efforts to reduce unnecessary delays of the game. Officials will be instructed to start play quicker following timeouts. If teams do not corporate, penalties such as technical fouls will be called. 

An optimistic look about these new changes comes from junior guard Collin Stewart who showed vast improvement last year. 

“I can’t wait for this season, I really think not only me but our whole team is making huge steps forward and can’t wait to see where it gets us,” said Stewart. 

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Danielle Axelrod Is More Than Just A Captain

Womens Soccer 220x146A Monmouth University student-athlete balances the pressure of being a division one athlete in addition to have a full course load of classes. Many collegiate athletes are showcased for their work on the field and not for their work in the classroom. For Danielle Axelrod, she has been able to shine off the field and discover her passion while competing for a conference title.

The senior midfielder/forward took a break from her studies and soccer to discuss her work off the field with The Outlook. 

Originally hailing from LaGrangeville, NY, Danielle said she had one big motivator when it came to becoming a division one athlete.

“My inspiration comes from God. He’s my rock in everything I do and I would not be where I am today without his guidance and grace,” she said. 

Danielle did not just have one motivator; she also found motivation in experienced soccer players.

“I grew up watching girls who were older than me play and I aspired to be just like them,” she continued. “In middle school I would go to high school games and look at the players like they were the professional players.”

As a three sport athlete in high school, Danielle found time to discover a desire for television. She said, “During my junior year of high school, I became interested in the new studio that my school had built. My math teacher at the time told me I should check it out and see what it was all about. The minute I stepped into the studio I fell in love.” 

Upon entering Monmouth University, Danielle knew she wanted to be an anchor for Hawk TV, however, as a division one athlete, she has little time to spare.

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Football Notches First Home Win Over Bryant

While Hurricane Joaquin did not make landfall, the Hawks, the Bryant Bulldogs and 1,086 fans braved the elements last Saturday as the Hawks came away with their first home win of the season, 31-24 in West Long Branch. 

The opening kickoff by the Bulldogs went out of the end zone, setting up redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Williams and the MU offense at their own 25 yard line. The Hawks drove down the field for their second opening drive touchdown of the season as Williams ran in from 22 yards out to record his first career rushing touchdown putting Monmouth up 7-0 early on. 

After a Bryant three-and-out, MU would move the ball immediately as Williams hooked up with senior tight end Hakeem Valles for a 14 yard gain. Williams found junior running back Lavon Chaney two plays later for a 25 yard gain and another Monmouth first down moving the ball onto the Bryant side of the field. Williams and redshirt freshman wide receiver Reggie White Jr. connected for a 16 yard touchdown reception to extend the MU lead to 14-0. The Hawks drive lasted 12 plays and 85 yards and left 3:04 remaining in the first quarter.

Bryant turned the ball over on their next possession as senior defensive back Malcom Powers picked off junior quarterback Dalton Easton and the Hawks took over at their own 28 yard line. Monmouth would go three-and-out and the Bulldogs regained possession at their own 33.

The visitors got on the board on the fourth play of the second quarter as senior running back Ricardo McCray found the end zone from 38 yards out to cut the MU lead in half, 14-7 with 12:56 to play in the first half.

The ensuing Hawks possession resulted in their first turnover of the game as Williams’ pass was intercepted by junior defensive back Aaron Gilmer. Bryant tied the game at 14 on this drive as Easton threw a 19 yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Jose Depadua with 6:30 remaining in the first half.

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Contact Information

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

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

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