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Squawk with A Hawk 9/28/11

Squack with Hawk 09.28.11Managing Editor Brett Bodner, sits down with All-American defender/midfielder and one of the captains on the men’s soccer team, RJ Allen.

Outlook: What’s your greatest memory so far, while playing soccer here at Monmouth?

RJA: I’d have to say either beating UConn in the NCAA tournament or winning the NEC in both the regular season and conference tournament the past two years.

Outlook: What are some things that you’ve done, which have allowed you to encounter the success you have had here?

RJA: I just continue to work hard and I put in a lot of work in practice with my teammates and that’s really it.

Outlook: What are your thoughts on the upcoming NEC games?

RJA: The NEC is a tough conference to play in. You just have to have the right mentality and get through every game.

Outlook: What’s your favorite movie?

RJA: I’d have to go with Taken or 8 Mile.

Outlook: What is your favorite pregame meal?

RJA: Chicken Parm.

Outlook: How would a guy like me do in the teams conditioning program?

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Field Hockey Team Picks up Steam: Hawks Win Four Straight Games

Field Hockey 9.21.11 1“We will win the NEC this year, there is no doubt in my mind,” exclaimed junior Nicole Manziano when asked about what her predictions were for the season. The field hockey team is looking to build on the success they experienced last season and to take the next step and become NEC champions in 2011.

The road to that NEC championship started off a little bumpy earlier this season. The Hawks kicked off regular season play against the #5 team in country in Syracuse. It was a close game early on, but Syracuse got on the board 22 minutes in and they never looked back. The Orange went on to win 40, outshooting the Hawks 333.

“It was exciting because it was both of our first games and anything could happen and we showed we could hang with them and run with the big dogs,” said head coach Carli Figlio.

The Hawks came out firing in their next game against Hofstra, but unfortunately lost a close one 43. Graduate student Morganne Firmstone had two goals in the contest, but in the end Hofstra was able to hang on and win by a narrow margin.

“Early in the season we got a little bit away from our hunger to win games early in the season because we have some new voices on the team, so we’re trying to take each play as it comes to us,” Figlio said.

The tide began to turn for the Hawks on Friday September 9, when they squared off against Lehigh. The Hawks dominated the field of play and when all was said and done they came out with a 41 win. Junior Michelle Pieczynski led the Hawk attack by scoring three goalswhich gave her a hat trick on the day.

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Football Team Picks up First Win of the Season Against Villanova

Football 9.21.11Monmouth goes on the road and picks up a huge win over the Villanova Wildcats to improve to 11 on the season.

This may be the biggest win in the history of Monmouth football. Villanova is a perennial powerhouse and the Hawks won 209 on the Wildcats’ home field. Tristan Roberts and Balial Sloan El scored the two MU touchdowns. Roberts made an excellent catch on a pass from Kyle Frazier in the third quarter. Sloan El sealed the game with a 44-yard scamper in the fourth.

The story of this game was the Hawks’ defense. Eleven thousand were on hand to see the MU defense hold Villanova scoreless for the entire first half. Jose Gumbs and Dan Sullivan made the two biggest plays of the game.

 With under a minute left in the first half, Gumbs made the play that changed the game. ‘Nova wide receiver Dorian Wells appeared to be on his way to a 49yard touchdown reception. Gumbs had other plans. The senior safety never gave up on the play, and knocked the ball loose from Wells’ hands. The ball rolled into the end zone where Wells tried to recover, but could not do so inbounds. The result was a touchback and Monmouth took over at their 20yard line.

Sullivan made his play in the second half. The Wildcats faced a fourth and goal from the one-yard line. Sullivan fought through blockers and stuffed ‘Nova running back Lawrence Doss. This led to a long drive by the Hawks that concluded with an Eric Spillane field goal.

Mitchell Pollard had a great game for the Blue and White. Pollard grabbed seven receptions for 118 yards. This includes a 62yard grab in the second half that helped the Hawks put points on the board.

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Men’s Soccer Knocks off Seton Hall, but Falls to Bucknell

M Soccer 9.21.11The Men’s soccer team got off to a rough start this week, falling to Old Dominion 31 last Sunday in the final game of the Stihl Soccer Classic.

The game was evenly played from a statistical stand point, but only senior Matt Beverin was able to put one past Old Dominion’s goaltender Victor Francoz.

This was the final game in the tournament for the Hawks and going 11 against ranked opponents is something positive that they were able to walk away with.

The Hawks would return home and action picked up again for the Hawks on Friday evening against instate rival Seton Hall University. It was the first night game held, since the student body returned from their summer vacation.

The game was loaded with action. Seton Hall dominated field position in the first five minutes of the game, but it would be the only five minutes they had some sort of control over the game.

The momentum began to swing when freshman Kalle Sotka narrowly missed scoring a goal on a bicycle kick towards the end of the minute. Just moments following this opportunity the Hawks cashed in the 12th minute when Andres Penfold got the Hawks on the board in the first half.

Sotka got another opportunity for a goal just four minutes later and he did not let it go to waste, which made the score 20 Hawks. The goal came off a corner kick from Ryan Clark and according to Sotka it was an easy goal. “It was a perfect free kick by RC (Ryan Clark). He saw I was wide open in the near post and I just flicked it in.”

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Let There Be Light

Great Lawn Becomes First Lighted Athletic Field on Campus

default article imageGenesis reads “And God said let there be light and there was light.”

Over the summer, a similar event happened to the Great Lawn that would leave an impact on the men’s and women’s soccer season.

Thanks to a generous donation from Jules Plangere Jr, four light poles were installed on the Great Lawn, giving both soccer teams the ability to play night games.

“It’s all about the lights right now,” said Athletic Director Marilyn McNeil. “We’ve always talked about lights in athletics. There’s such an aura about playing under the lights in any athletic endeavor and it opens up opportunities to use the field at other times other than sun hours,” said McNeil.

July 20 was the date when all four light poles were standing and once they were all up, many new opportunities became available to the soccer team. Opportunities that were not there before.

Not only can the team benefit from being able to play at night, but it will also be very beneficial to the fan base. “This will allow more fans to get to the game. If you play in the afternoon during the week, many students are in class and people in the surrounding community are at work. With night games, it will allow more people to attend the games and I do believe attendance will be higher,” said President Paul Gaffney II.

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Football Team Kicks-Off the Season With the Familiar Taste of a Loss

Football Team Kicks off SeasonHawk football is back after a disappointing 2010. The preseason rankings predict the Hawks to finish sixth in the Northeast Conference.

The Hawks have a much different team in 2011 than they did last year. “This year we’re certainly not as old or as experienced as we were a year ago,” said Coach Callahan. The 2010 squad had 22 seniors who are no longer here.

With 22 players from last year gone, some new guys are going to have to step up. The offense lost some of their best playmakers. 

“A lot of the younger guys stepped up, we had a veteran group last year, we only have two kids returning, Mitchell Pollard and Darvin Henderson, but Lamar Davenport and Neil Sterling have definitely stepped up. We got a transfer in, Tristan Roberts, who stepped up, I think all of them can really help the team out,” said senior QB Kyle Frazier when asked about which receivers will help the team replace some graduates.

Elijah Phillips was hurt last season and is ready to get back on the field. He believes he is hungry after sitting a year and is mentally and physically stronger than ever. Coach Callahan expects him to play at a high level. With Phillips coming back and star safety Jose Gumbs in his senior year, the Hawks should have a secondary that will give teams problems.

The Hawks have some tough out-of-conference games this season. They face nationally ranked Lehigh and Villanova to start the year, then Colgate a few weeks later. Coach Callahan points to a number of reasons as to why they play these teams.

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Spring Sports: What You Missed While You Were Gone

Spring sportsAs finals came to a close on May 11, many students packed their bags and headed home for the summer. However, students that participated in spring sports remained behind as each of their seasons rolled on.

The baseball team had an excellent bounce back year, after finishing under .500 last season with a record of 2227. This following season the team posted a record of 3619, including a record of 257 in the NEC. Possibly the most impressive statistic about their record was that the Hawks were near unbeatable at home, compiling a record of 193 on home turf.

The Hawks season came to an end on May 22, when they fell to Sacred Heart 92 in the NEC Championship game at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Connecticut. The loss gave the Hawks a second place finish, which is a huge improvement on last season.

“It was a fun fulfilling year and we had a unique team which helped us make it as far as we did. They liked each other and each guy cared about the next and it helped us be a successful team,” said Head Coach Dean Ehehalt.

Leading the way offensively for the Hawks this past season was senior infielder Ryan Terry. Terry tore it up in his final season as a Hawk, leading the team in hits, RBIs, runs scored, doubles, and batting average. Terry’s talents did not go unnoticed by pro scouts, as Terry was selected in the 21st round (660th overall)by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft.

“Ryan has been a great player for a long time for us. He was a catalyst for us and loves to do well and win. He was instrumental in our success last year on and off the field,” said Ehehalt.

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Men’s Soccer Looks to Take Next Step in 2011

default article imageComing into the new soccer season, the men’s soccer program is expecting big things. As the two-time defending NEC champions, they were once again picked to take the division. Six seasons in a row they have taken the regular-season title and the 2011 season hopes to bring the seventh.

After a 2010 season where the Hawks remained in the national rankings and hosted a home NCAA tournament first round game, they are looking to continue their winning ways.

Going into the season in mid-August, they were chosen as the 27th best team in the nation according to College Soccer News. Coach Robert McCourt led the Hawks to 14 wins in 2010 and now he surely hopes to top that mark.

Led by Ryan Kinne, the Hawk offense will look to post its 1.80 goals per game mark. With big shoes to fill, they will be led by veteran players such as RJ Allen, Anthony Vazquez and Max Hamilton. This trio was quite a standout in NEC play last year and along with them, the Hawks can be led by first team all NEC midfielder Ryan Clark.

Hawk recognition has come from other news sources besides the College News polls, such as the Soccer America’s Preseason polls and All-American nominations. Monmouth took the 21st ranking in this and RJ Allen was also named to its preseason All-American squad. Allen is a major weapon for the team this year and it sure seems like many NEC teams will feel his presence.

Ryan credits his teammates for all of the credit and attention he is getting. “Without my teammates I would not be getting all of the recognition, so it is all because of them that I am where I am,” Allen said.

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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