WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.- The Monmouth University (8-6) women’s lacrosse team netted six goals in the second half to come back and beat Quinnipiac (5-8) on Friday afternoon at Kessler Field. With the win, the Hawks remain undefeated in conference play with a 6-0 mark, while dropping the Bobcats to 3-3 in the NEC.
Sam Savona (Jackson, N.J. /Jackson Liberty/FDU) tied a career-high with four goals on the day, three of which came in the second half. The senior also added three draw controls in the victory. Junior Kaleigh Gibbons (Candia, N.H./Central /Robert Morris) had a four point afternoon, including three goals. Gibbons has now put up multiple points in eleven straight games.
“Today’s win was a whole team effort,” said Wescott. “The different things we tried started working, like putting Sam on the draw to get possession. We subbed a little bit more with Hess and Rak coming off the bench and scoring. Savona also did a great job off of her cuts and got a lot of looks. We are starting to become a team that is becoming more unpredictable. We don’t go to one or two things to win, if teams stop those things we go to something else. The defense did a nice job shutting down their feeder.” I think the team is really starting to believe in themselves. We’ve worked hard so I think we feel like deserve some things, we are going after every team in this conference as hard as we can and we are capable.”
After trailing by one at the break, the second half was all Hawks. MU came out with the first two goals of the half to take a 6-5 lead. Sophomore Meaghan Hess (Lake Stevens, Wash./Lake Stevens High School) walked out from behind the net and scored, and Savona put MU in front less than two minutes later. After QU’s Lianne Toomey tied it at six with just over 24 minutes to play, the Hawks took over control of the play. Savona’s third of the game put the Hawks in front for good with 19:09 remaining, but Monmouth wasn’t done. Gibbons scored the next two in the midst of a 5-0 stretch for the Blue and White that also saw Savona put home her fourth of the contest and junior Danielle Rakowitz (Montville, N.J./Montville) finish on the Hawks 11th of the afternoon. The Hawks held an 11-6 lead at that point, and won it 11-7 to move to 6-0 in NEC play behind eight saves from Katie Donohoe (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada (Holy Cross Catholic Secondary)).
After the Hawks took the early lead on a goal from senior Erica Abendschoen (West Caldwell, N.J. /James Caldwell),, the Bobcats scored the next four in a row to jump out to a 4-1 advantage, tallying four goals in the first twelve plus minutes of the match. The first three goals in the Quinnipiac run came in a span of just 2:43. Sarah Allen had a pair of those goals for QU.
Monmouth fought back to draw even, tying the game with a run of their own. Allison Stathius (Delran, N.J./Delran) and Gibbons scored just a minute and one second apart to cut the Quinnipiac lead to one, and Savona tied it on a nice feed across from Emily Barbieri (Parsippany, N.J. (DePaul Catholic)). The Bobcats got a late goal from Toomey on a free position shot to take a 5-4 lead into the half.
Senior Gianna D’Urso (Fairfield, N.J. /West Essex) led the Hawks defense, causing a turnover and picking up five ground balls. Kim McCormick (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) had a pair of caused turnovers and three ground balls for the Blue & White.
MU held a 23-20 advantage in shots while the Bobcats committed 16 turnovers to Monmouth’s 11. Toomey finished with a team-high four points on three goals and an assist while Ochwat had three points on a pair of goals and a helper. Bobcat goalie Samantha Tilts had seven saves in the loss.
Monmouth returns to action on Sunday afternoon when they take on Sacred Heart on Senior Day. Start time is set for noon at Kessler Field.