WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Senior forward Jacob Rubinstein (Ocean Township, N.J./Ocean) scored his fourth goal in the last five games as the first-place Monmouth University men’s soccer team defeated Quinnipiac, 1-0, for its sixth-straight win in a seven-game unbeaten streak Saturday night on The Great Lawn. The Hawks entered the match with a one-game lead in the win column (three points) over the Bobcats in the MAAC standings, and emerge from the game with a six-point lead over all other MAAC teams at 7-5-3 (6-0-1 MAAC). The loss snapped the Bobcats’ four-game winning streak and five-game unbeaten streak, leaving them at 6-4-4 (4-1-1 MAAC).
“I couldn’t be more proud of our guys,” said Monmouth Head Coach Robert McCourt. “They worked extremely hard to get a big win against a very good Quinnipiac team. The game was a good brand of soccer played by both teams. The end was typical emotional conference soccer and our guys did a great job of staying composed and sealing the victory.”
Monmouth freshman goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky (Lincoln Park, N.J./DePaul Catholic) and the Hawks’ defense posted their fourth-straight clean sheet and fifth in the last six games. Klenofsky made two saves, both in the first half, to compile the shutout.
Quinnipiac took a 6-4 edge in shots in the first half, including some dangerous chances. Klenofsky easily cleaned up a Raphael Carvalho shot from 30 yards out in the 15th minute and later stopped another Carvalho opportunity, this time on a header from point-blank range in the 38th minute to keep the game scoreless. The half ended with Monmouth’s Tomas Penfold (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale) firing off a free kick from 25 yards directly in front of the net that sailed wide.
In the 52nd minute, Rubinstein created a quality scoring chance, beating his defender to the ball in the box, but Quinnipiac keeper Jason Vancura was positioned well to make the save. Five minutes later, the Hawks transitioned to score the game-winning goal. After Sam Nicol’s shot was blocked by a Monmouth back to create a Bobcats corner kick, the Hawks successfully sent the corner out of the box. Transitioning from defense to offense, Joseph Schmid (Kingston, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) played the ball from the midfield wide down the right sideline to Francois “Paco” Navarro (Paris, France). Navarro then sent a perfect cross through the Quinnipiac goal mouth that Rubinstein got on the end of for what proved to be the game winner in the 59th minute.
The Bobcats kept the pressure on, with the most dangerous opportunity coming from Ola Ogunjobi off a header with pace that went just a few feet wide of the right post in the 86th minute.
For the game, the Bobcats took a 10-7 advantage in shots. Both teams got two shots on target with Klenofsky cleaning up both Quinnipiac shots, while Vancura made one save. Quinnipiac also took a 7-3 edge in corner kicks.
The Hawks return to MAAC action Wednesday, when they travel to Manhattan. Kickoff from Gaelic Park is scheduled for 7 p.m.