WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.- Monmouth women’s lacrosse dominated a 17-4 Northeast Conference match against LIU Brooklyn on Friday, in the first league contest of the 2013 season.
Twelve different Hawks registered at least a point in the game while 25 players saw action in the contest. Freshman Marial Pierce (Middleburg, Va./St. John’s Catholic) led all scorers with four goals while Cassie Campasano (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip/Jacksonville), Megan Hess (Lake Stevens, Wash./Lake Stevens) and Kaleigh Gibbons (Candia, N.H./Central/RMU) each had three points in the contest.
The MU defense, which kept the Blackbirds scoreless for the final 32:59 of the game, allowed six shots all contest and just one in the second frame.
“We want to try to be as strong as we can be in the NEC this year so starting out with a win is key,” said Denise Wescott, Monmouth head coach.” It was great to see us play well and get a lot of different people in the game and a lot of players on the scoreboard, which shows the depth of our talent. I thought our attackers and ride did a great job of forcing some turnovers. Our middies were picking off passes which took the pressure off our defense. That enabled the defense was able to focus on what we needed to do to take LIU out of the game.”
Senior Sam Savona (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Liberty) scored the first goal of the game at the 27:53 mark and the Hawks scored three more over the next four minutes, with a pair from Pierce and Savona adding another. Blackbird Shakoya Smith scored a man-up goal to cut the lead to 4-1 but the Hawks answered with three more unanswered goals, coming from three different players. LIU netted back to back goals to go back by a 7-3 margin but Monmouth scored three more times and the halftime score sat at 10-4.
Monmouth’s defense pitched a second-half shutout, as seven different players scored in the 17-4 victory. The four goals was the lowest Monmouth has allowed since giving up a record three goals in the 2012 Northeast Conference Championship game against Mount St. Mary’s. The 17 goals scored was the most since defeating the Blackbirds 18-6 in 2012. MU is now 11-0 all-time against LIU.
With the win, MU improves to 1-0 in NEC play and 3-6 on the season. LIU Brooklyn falls to 0-8 and 0-1 on the year.
LIU was led by Smith who had two goals. Netminder Alexis Maldanado made 10 saves as the Hawks outshot the Blackbirds 33-6. Monmouth held a 16-8 advantage in draw controls, with freshman Kristina Vangeli (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) earning eight. Fifth year senior midfielder Erica Abendschoen (West Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) made her presence felt with a five ground balls and a career-high three caused turnovers to go with her one assist on the day.
Monmouth returns to Kessler Field on Sunday to host league rival Wagner College at 1 p.m.