Women’s Lacrosse Improves to 2-0 in Conference Play

WLAX Improve 2 0The women’s lacrosse team remains undefeated in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play, eking out a 13-10 win over Marist on Saturday, Apr. 1.

Junior attacker Alexa Smith and freshman attacker Nicole Ceraso each put on remarkable offensive performances. Smith netted a total of four goals and Ceraso, who was named MAAC Rookie of the Week on Monday, did her part with a team high five points on a goal and four assists.

“I think we executed the game plan,” Head Coach Eileen Ghent said. “We worked on patience on attack, using the whole shot clock when necessary. Things we are looking to improve are taking care of the ball and making sure we make good decisions when we have the ball.”

Once again Monmouth was first on the scoreboard as Smith needed only 39 seconds to put the Hawks up one off an assist from Cesaro. Nine minutes passed before the next goal was scored as senior attacker Olivia Higson gave the Hawks a two-goal advantage. Marist got their first in the 17th minute and by 11th minute, the game was knotted at a three apiece.

The Hawks had an outbreak of offensive over the next five minutes, scoring four straight goals to build a 7-3 lead. Junior midfielder Caroline Corbliss made her presence felt in that stretch of time as she was involved in three of the four goals. Marist continued to battle as they scored two goals before the half and the score stood at 8-5, Monmouth.

The blue and white wasted no time coming out of the half to build their lead as senior captain midfielder Claudia LaMarca added a goal in the 29th minute and then another in the 25th, both coming off a Cesaro assist. Marist and Monmouth exchanged goals over the next five minutes and with 20 minutes left on the clock it was 11-7, Hawks.

The Red Foxes did not simply fade away at this point and they responded to the tune of three unanswered goals to cut the lead to two. Junior midfielder Kate Ryan broke the spree for the Hawks, and with about 11 minutes to go it was 12-9, Hawks.

Both teams heightened their defense efforts as another goal would not be scored for 10 minutes. Marist was responsible for it, as they once again cut the lead to two with 1:47 on the clock. Monmouth however effectively ended the game by gaining possession of the ball and Smith added her fourth and final goal of the game on an empty net to put the game away for good.  

“It is so important because we haven’t had a lot of wins at home and we’ve had a lot of games that we could have won, but just missed,” Smith said after the game. “To win against Marist, who is one of the top teams in the league, was really important.”

Monmouth easily won in the shot department and controlled the ball effectively on offensive, registering 32 shots to Marists 22. However, Monmouth went 0-6 on free position shots compared to Marist’s 1-3.

Also of note was sophomore goaltender Riley Brager who not only had another phenomenal performance but she was named MAAC Student Athlete of the Week. A communication major with a minor in marketing, she was named the winner after posting 12 saves and holding Quinnipiac to single digit scoring in last week’s effort.

Brager commented on what the award meant to her, “It means a lot to me, because it is not only important to work on the field, but also important to work hard in the classroom. At the end of the day academics do come first.”

The Hawks improve to 4-7 overall and 2-0 in the MAAC. They will take on Fairfield, who come into the game with a four-game winning streak, today at 3 p.m. in Connecticut. The last three matchups between the teams have all been decided by one goal with Fairfield wining two out of three.