Women’s Lacrosse Suffers Setback After Opening Win

WLAX Setback After Opening WinThe women’s lacrosse team suffered two closely contested losses losing to Temple University 18-16 last Wednesday and Rutgers University 12-11 on Saturday morning.

Wednesday’s slate against the Owls saw the Hawks take the late lead only to have it erased and given up by a Temple 5-0 scoring run. Saturday’s game featured Monmouth attempting the late game comeback by registering the final five goals, but falling short in the end.

The Hawks scored first against Temple thanks to freshman attacker Nicole Ceraso, who followed up her eight-point performance last week with a seven-point game against the Owls. Both teams proceeded to exchange goals until Temple pulled ahead by scoring three unanswered goals. Monmouth eventually reclaimed the lead when senior captain mid-fielder Claudia LaMarca scored her second goal of the game putting the Hawks up 9-8. Temple, however, would not go into the half quietly as they tied the game with 27 seconds remaining.

Temple broke the tie within three minutes coming out of the half taking a 10-9 lead only to see it vanish by senior attacker Olivia Higson, who scored her fourth and subsequently fifth goals of the game to give Monmouth the lead. The Hawks tallied three more goals to give themselves a 15-12 advantage with 9:26 to go.

The Owls proceeded to stage the comeback this time scoring six goals to Monmouth’s one over the game’s final nine minutes to win the game in the end 18-16. Temple held the advantage in the shots overall, taking 40 to Monmouth’s 27. Twenty-two of those 40 shots for Temple came in the second half, compared to Monmouth’s nine.

“I was proud of our effort today despite the outcome,” Monmouth Head Coach Eileen Ghent said. “We improved since Saturday and look to continue to improve even more for our upcoming game. We’re back to work tomorrow with Saturday’s game on our mind.”

Monmouth once again scored first on Saturday thanks to Ceraso, but Rutgers answered powerfully by making a five-goal run to give themselves the 5-1 lead. The run was brought to an end by Cearso, who scored her second of the day. But once again Rutgers answered by scoring two more times before the half to give themselves the 7-2 lead.

Rutgers recorded two more goals coming out of the half and Monmouth found themselves facing a sizable deficit, 9-3 with 17 minutes left to go. Rutgers was never able to extend their lead by more than six goals in part due to sophomore goaltender Riley Brager’s career high 11 save game. Monmouth’s offense flashed a 5-0 run over the last nine minutes but it was too little too late as the Hawks dropped their second of the season to Rutgers with a final score of 12-11.

 “I thought Rutgers came out ready to play from the first whistle,” Ghent said. “We struggled in the first half, leaving us playing catch up throughout the second half.  It was good to see us be able to bounce back and make big plays when we had to, but coming up just short stings. We are moving on and looking forward to making improvements for our home opener on Wednesday.”

Cearso was named Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Rookie of the Week for the second straight week. She netted a total of four goals and eight points last week against George Washington and continued to impress this past week. She added three goals and a total of seven points against Temple and three goals and five points against Rutgers, which brings her season total to 10 goals and 20 points.

Monmouth plays their first home game of the season tonight 6:00 p.m. as they welcome Bucknell. The Hawks are looking to bounce back from the losses as they play in their first home night game in program history on Hesse Field at the Great Lawn.