FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Freshman forward Dave Nigro (Marlboro, N.J./Marlboro) scored the equalizer in the 72nd minute as the Monmouth University men’s soccer team tied Fairfield, 1-1, in the Hawks’ first-ever Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) match Saturday night on Lessing Field. With the tie, the Hawks move to 1-5-3 (0-0-1 MAAC), while the Stags are now 3-2-2 (0-0-1 MAAC).
“I thought our guys showed a fantastic amount of character tonight,” said Monmouth Head Coach Robert McCourt. “We had a PK called against us. We could’ve put our heads down, but we actually bounced back stronger than we were before and I thought we were unlucky not to get more out of the game. Historically, Fairfield is one of the better teams in the MAAC so to come up here and get a point on the road in the conference I think is a good building block for us moving forward.”
Making his first career start in goal, freshman Eric Klenofsky (Lincoln Park, N.J./DePaul Catholic) made two saves to preserve the tie. Fairfield goalkeeper Joe Martin did not register a save.
Fairfield was awarded a penalty kick in the 57th minute and Jon Clement found the back of the net to give the Stags a 1-0 lead. Jacob Rubinstein (Ocean Township, N.J./Ocean) checked into the game in the 71st minute and 47 seconds later, found Nigro with a pass across the box that the freshman put away past Martin for the equalizer.
The Hawks kept the pressure on and nearly took the lead, but Francois “Paco” Navarro’s shot rung off the post in the 80th minute. The Hawks fired off four shots in the final 11 minutes of regulation, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Klenofsky also made a save in the 83rd minute to push the game to overtime.
For the game, the Hawks took an 8-7 edge in shots and a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks.
The Hawks return to MAAC action Wednesday, when they play host to Iona. Kickoff from The Great Lawn is scheduled for 7 p.m.