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Last updateFri, 08 May 2020 6pm

Sports

Track and Field Sets Records in Florida and Princeton

default article imageLaura Williams ran .02 shy of a new 400-meter hurdles school record as the Monmouth University women’s and men’s track and field teams opened competition at the Florida Relays hosted by the University of Florida, Friday afternoon. Vincent Elardo and Vincent DuVernois paced the men’s squad, landing top-four finishes in the discus and javelin, respectively. At Princeton’s Sam Howell Invitational, Qiyana Hill’s mark of 43.11 (141’ 5”) broke her own school record in the discus, while Khari Bowen finished the 5,000-meter run in 14.42 to set the new MU freshman standard.

In a field of 56 sprinters, Williams crossed the finish line in 1:00.03 in the 400-meter hurdles, good for 20th overall. Her time sits second all-time in the Monmouth record books, .02 seconds shy of Latasha Dickson’s 2007 time of 1:00.01. Rachel Watkins ran her personal best of 1:01.02 in the event.

Watkins cleared 1.70m (5’ 7”) in the high jump followed by senior Lindsey Walsh (Mount Laurel, N.J./Lenape), who landed a jump of 1.65m (5’ 5”).

Jennifer Nelson ran her way to third all-time in program history in the 1,500-meter run, clocking in at 4:36.86 for 25th overall in a field of over 40 competitors.

Elardo took third in the discus finals, landing a throw of 50.70m (166’ 4”), while also earning sixth in the hammer throw, hurling for 56.36m (184’ 11”).

DuVernois took fourth overall in the javelin as last season’s All- American launched a mark of 67.02 (219’ 10”).

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Ehehalt Wins 500th With Hawks

sports-danny-avellaThe men’s baseball team is currently on a five game winning streak with the addition of this past weekend’s wins over the Lafayette Leopards and sweep over the Quinnipiac Bobcats.

The Hawks opened up their week on Wednesday against non-conference Lafayette. Jon Shippee was deemed starter of the game and pitched a career best 6.1 innings striking out three and allowing two runs off six hits. Replacing Shippee in the seventh was right hander Neil Harm who closed out the game and was awarded his second save of the season. When asked about Shippee’s performance, Head Coach Dean Ehehalt said, “He has thrown three real good games for us. He’s not really conditioned to go nine at this point, but he’s thrown real well.” With this win, Shippee has improved his season record to 3-1.

Shippee and Harm had the support they needed from their offense. Scoring seven runs, the Hawks have finally regained their stamina at the plate. Designated hitter, Tim Bickford, knocked in second baseman Jamie Rosenkranz for the Hawk’s first run. Rosenkranz also accounted for the team’s second run in the bottom of the third. Hitting an infield single to get on base, Rosenkranz moved to second on a balk and then to third on a wild pitch. It was Bickford once more who hit the single needed to get Rosenkranz across home plate. Monmouth then changed the score in the fourth off catcher Tom Augustyniak’s and Rosenkranz’s bats. Augustyniak hit the first pitch he saw for an RBI double scoring center fielder Josh Boyd who got on base after being hit. Rosenkranz followed Augustyniak’s lead by hitting an RBI double as well.

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Women’s Lacrosse Team Defeats First Place CCSU

Women Lacrosse Defeats CCSUMU women’s lacrosse squad used a total team effort to hand Central Connecticut State their first conference loss of the season, 127 on Kessler Field Thursday, April 5.

The Hawks (49, 32 NEC), which never trailed, opened up an 81 lead in the first half. The Blue Devils (55, 31 NEC), who are off to their best start in program history, scored six second-half goals but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Monmouth offense.

“To me it was a lot about the stats today,” said MU head coach Denise Wescott. We started getting the draw, we got some good looks early. Our defense just shut them down, our assistant coaches’ scouting report was good and that really helped us shut the door.  Our offense pressure and ran our ride as well as we have all year. We eased up a little in the second, we felt a little too confident. We gave up the draws and they capitalized.”

Offensively, the Hawks were led by sophomore Kaleigh Gibbons, who had a career high seven points on five goals and two assists. The MU defense was impressive, forcing CCSU into 14 turnovers. Sabrina Heskins had three ground balls and two caused turnovers while freshman Katie Donohoe backstopped the Hawks with six saves, six ground balls and four caused turnovers.

The Hawks jumped all over the Blue Devils with Gibbons tallying back to back goals in the first 2:38 of the game.  Senior Sam Lillo tallied two straight of her own, giving the Hawks a 40 lead with 14:10 to play. Lynn White added a goal, with Gibbons on the assist before the New Hampshire native scored her third of the first half on a free position goal. Senior Olivia Salata pushed the lead to 70 with 12:22 to play before CCSU’s Betsy Vendel got her squad on the board with 10:52 remaining.  Monmouth’s Sam Savona put MU up 81, scoring with 34 seconds left in the half.

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The Gun Show || What a Payne! An Examination of Today’s High Stakes NCAA Hirings

default article imageIt is one day before a highly anticipated Final Four game. The Kentucky Wildcats are set to take on the Louisville Cardinals. At stake is a trip to the Championship Game and the ability to be the talk-of-the-town. An entrance to college basketball’s biggest game surely must rile the nerves of players, coaches, athletic directors, fans, family, etc. But, what’s really on the minds of the sport’s power-wielders? Business. 

Mississippi State Athletic Director Scott Stricklin arranged a meeting with Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne last Friday, just 24 hours from Payne’s biggest game during his tenure with the Wildcats. The meeting was to discuss Payne’s basketball credentials and the possibility of him taking over the Mississippi State basketball team, recently left vacant by retired-coach Rick Stansbury. 

Even in the tense heat of the NCAA tournament, programs are on the search for the improvement of their team. Surely this is not a bad thing; we’d all like to see a well-run program. But the timing in some of these coaching searches just seems extremely disagreeable.

Payne was just hours away from helping John Calipari (one of the nation’s most renown coaches) guide his program to the championship game. But instead of X’s and O’s running through his mind, Stricklin got him thinking number of zeros in his paycheck. 

From the dribble-drive motion offense to Mississippi State’s contractual offensive, Kenny Payne was forced to think about outside teams, financial well-being, his future, etc. where he should’ve been fully committed to helping Kentucky advance.

Sure Scott Stricklin acted out of Kentucky’s best interests, right? He claimed to be on the coaching offensive because of the MSU fan-base’s impatience with the search. He told Bulldog fans to be patient, but in this information-driven, tech savvy, media consuming world, fans want answers now. He was just doing his job, right? Getting out there, meeting with arguably the nation’s top assistant coach. 

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Baseball Swept by Temple Over Weekend

Baseball-Pitcher-PicUsually the baseball team plays only conference games on the weekends, but this past weekend proved as a rarity. The Hawks played in a battle of the birds as they took on the non-conference Temple Owls in a two games series. One game was played Friday, at Monmouth while the other was on Sunday at Temple University in Philadelphia. Originally scheduled to be a three game series, the Saturday game was postponed with the anticipation of a heavy rainfall.

Starting in Friday’s game was Monmouth’s ace, right-handed Pat Light. Light battled through the first two innings allowing three hits and one run. He then pitched a perfect game from the third inning to the sixth inning maintaining a 2-0 lead over Temple. When asked how he felt during those stellar innings, Light commented, “I felt in control. You go four innings not giving up a hit and not letting a runner on base, you can’t not feel in control.” 

It was in the seventh when Light ran into some difficulty against the Owls line-up. Facing the heart of the order, Light walked the first batter, ending his flawless streak. He then allowed the next batter to hit a single, pushing a runner into scoring position. Light managed to get the following batter to hit a the ball right back to the mound creating the first out of the inning. The next batter hit a single scoring both runners on base. “I felt good,” Light continues, “Just kind of left some pitches over the middle in the seventh, can’t win them all.”

Light walked off the mound after pitching six and a third allowing five runs (three earned) off of six hits. He also struck out five batters while only walking one. Light was throwing heat on Friday’s game was a 92-94 miles per hour consistency and even hit 95 at one point. His pitch count was a good spot with 90 pitches, 58 of those crossing the plate as strikes. Unfortunately, he did not have the support needed and was pinned with the loss. When asked to comment on Light’s game, Coach Ehehalt said, “He pitched good enough for us to win.”

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Softball Goes 1-3 Over Weekend, Falls to Eighth in NEC

softball-picThe softball team defeated Saint Joseph’s, split with Robert Morris, and was swept by Saint Francis (Pa.) last week and is now 11-11 on the season, 3-5 in the Northeast Conference (NEC).

The Hawks defeated Saint Joseph’s 3-2 last Wednesday thanks to a Chealsea Paprocki‘s double in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Tish Derer, Kayleena Flores and Alicia Desanto each had two hits for MU, accounting for six of the team’s nine hits.

Alissa Schoelkopf was the winning pitcher for the Blue and White, improving her record to 3-1. In two innings of work, she allowed one run while striking out four and walking two. Jordan Barnett pitched five innings, allowing one run with one strikeout. 

In the bottom of the sixth, the game was tied at two. Flores walked to start the inning. Kate Kuzma grounded out, moving Flores to second. That’s when Paprocki stepped up and put the Hawks ahead. She doubled to right-center, knocking in Flores and giving MU the 3-2 lead that they would never relinquish.

Monmouth traveled to Robert Morris for a double-header Saturday. RMU won the first game 5-2. The Hawks took the second game, 3-2.

Barnett took the loss for Monmouth in game one. In 2.1 innings, she allowed seven hits and four runs. Lauren Sulick pitched 3.2 innings, allowing three hits and a run. She struck out three and walked four.

Christine Scherr and Vanessa Cardoza each had an RBI for the Blue and White. Each of them hit solo home runs.

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Women’s Golf Team Looks to Drive Home an NEC Title

wgolf-teamMost college sporting events are easily accessible to students because they are located right on the campus. This is unfortunately not the case for the women’s golf team. As they kicked off their season this past weekend, these dedicated girls were not there to play in front of their whole university. 

After speaking with different girls from the team, I was able to understand the incredible passion and devotion they all demonstrate for a sport they love to play. 

Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, junior Kelsi Kavanagh has been playing golf since she was three-years-old. She has been practicing with him twice a week since she was four. Grateful to play at the division one level, she has spent most of her time at the University focused and dedicated to golf. With such a strong passion for the competitive aspect of college level golf, Kavanagh hopes to take a swing at professional golf after graduation.

Sophomore Michelle Rosenhouse has also been playing since she was three years old, following in the footsteps of her entire family. “It’s a family sport that we all have played together for years,” explained Rosenhouse. She described golf as something that her and her brother have been able to bond over. If not playing golf after college, Rosenhouse hopes to one day broadcast for golf tournaments. 

After spending hours working out in the gym and practicing on the course, the team looks and feels ready to play. As a team, their main goal is to aim high. “This year I think our team can finish in the top three at conference championships in Florida,” stated Kavanagh. 

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Women’s Lacrosse Defeats Sacred Heart, but Falls to Quinnipiac

default article imageFreshman Allison Stathius scored twice in the final 13:45 to play, including the game-winning goal as the Hawks topped Sacred Heart (3-6, 2-1) in women’s lacrosse on Friday afternoon by a score of 9-7.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak against the Pioneers, dating back to the 2008 Northeast Conference semifinals. Stathius, who entered into the game with just one career-goal scored with 13:45 to give the Hawks their fourth lead of the game, 7-6. After SHU tied it up two minutes later, freshman attacker Meghan Hess (Lake Stevens, Wash./Lake Stevens) found Stathius near the net where she beat Pioneer goalie Kelly Keenan to put Monmouth up for good, 8-6. The MU defense held SHU to just two goals in the second frame, allowing their second lowest goal amount in 2012.

“This was a great win in the NEC for us over a good team in Sacred Heart,” said head coach Denise Wescott. “I think this is a special win for our seniors, who up until today had not beaten Sacred Heart. I thought we were composed and confident when the game was close on both sides of the ball. Our defense shut them down in the second half and Katie [Donohoe] stopped some big shots for us down the stretch. Offensively we worked the ball into good shots, their goalie really kept them in the game.”

The Hawks peppered Keenan, who made 17 saves, outshooting the Pioneers 33-14. Twenty-six of the MU shots found the goal while the Hawks dominated loose balls, gathering 27 ground balls, compared with just 13 for Sacred Heart.

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Khari Bowen Sets Freshman Record at Lafayette

default article imageFreshman Khari Bowen (Monroe, N.J./Monroe Township) ran a new freshman record in the 3,000-meter run and Erik Anderson (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham Wading River) finished in second with a jump of 6’ 5” in the high jump to lead the Monmouth men’s track and field squad, which earned 12 top-eight finishes at Lafayette’s Seven- Way Meet Sunday afternoon. The women’s team claimed three top-eight finishes at the meet, which was moved from Saturday to Sunday due to the inclement weather.

Bowen completed the 3k in 8:42.15 to claim second overall and set the new Monmouth rookie standard.
For the women’s squad, Lauren McDonald (Roseland, N.J./West Essex Regional) cleared 10’ 2” in the pole vault to earn fourth, while also running 12.81 in the 100-meter dash to claim 10th.

Danielle Branco (Old Bridge, N.J./ Old Bridge) ran 10:53.78 in the 3,000-meter run to finish 12th.

Monmouth is back on the track next weekend at Pepsi Florida Relays in Gainesville, Florida, while others will travel to Princeton, N.J. for the Sam Howell Invitational.

The Gun Show || Taliban and the Tournament: North Carolina Congressman Makes Controversial Basketball Comments

default article imageIf you didn’t believe my testament about the powerful nature of the NCAA Basketball tournament, maybe you will when a political figure gets involved. Not only is basketball pride a way of life, but in North Carolina this week it came above national security, in a sense.

Commenting on North Carolina’s trip to the Sweet 16 (and later the Elite 8), U.S. Representative Brad Miller, a Democrat from North Carolina made extremely controversial comments. He noted basketball’s importance into the lives of North Carolina residents and the extreme rivalry present between North Carolina (UNC) and Duke University.

He showed no remorse or political correctness for his (apparent) hatred for Duke University. “I have said very publicly that if Duke was playing against the Taliban, then I’d have to pull for the Taliban.”

Miller made it clear that if UNC was placed up against the Blue Devils, then Duke would receive no “Congressional neutrality.” In Miller’s world, the Blue Devils sit at the bottom of the totem pole. Even if North Carolina is divided between Tar Heel and Blue Devil nations, Miller added that he would pull for the Taliban instead of Duke.

Sure the comment was probably made as a playful gesture, but bringing up the Taliban in such controversial times with the War on Terror and continuous threats at out freedom, begs the question of whether this Congressman is completely sane.

”The Dagger” Sports Blog mentions that the Congressman’s comments were a good way to have Homeland Security knock on his door. Plus, bringing up the Taliban in any circumstance is controversial, never mind saying that he’d root for them.

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Softball Doomed by Errors, 2-2 Over Weekend

sportsThe softball team split a doubleheader Saturday against Sacred Heart. Monmouth won the first game, 2-1. The Pioneers avenged the loss in the second game, 10-6.

“In my mind we’re better than we performed, but we have to play hard every game,” said head coach Louie Berndt. “We can’t keep going up and down, up and down. We have to perform better. We didn’t do our jobs.

In the first game, Kayla Weiser was the hero for the Hawks (9-8, 2-2). In the bottom of the third, Weiser homered to right-center, putting MU ahead 2-1. This proved to be the game-winning hit.

The Blue and White scored in the opening frame. Tish Derer walked, stole second and scored when Weiser singled to left-center.

The Pioneers tied the game in the top of the third. Liz Tsipouras was hit by a pitch, and Noelle Cahill came in to pinch run. Justine Sibthorp stepped up and doubled down the left field line. Cahill scored on the play.

Jordan Barnett picked up her first win of the season for the Hawks. She pitched all seven innings, allowing four hits. She struck out four and walked seven in the game.

“We had too many walks, and too many walks that the umpire took away from us. We struck kids out twice or gave them extra pitches,” said Berndt. “They have to be better. We can’t have the number of walks that we have because we’re giving up way too many walks. Whether the umpire is working for us or against us.”

Defensive errors tormented the Hawks in the second game against Sacred Heart.

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