WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Three different players scored to help lead the Monmouth University field hockey team to a 4-2 win over Lehigh, Sunday afternoon on So Sweet A Cat Field. The Hawks, who captured a home opening win for the first time since the 2010 season, improve to 1-4 with the victory, while the Mountain Hawks fall to 2-4 on the year.
“It was a great team effort today as we took a huge step forward,” stated head coach Carli Figlio. “We really focused on what we needed to do better and being able to come out and put a goal on the board early in the game really gave us energy.”
Monmouth jumped ahead 1-0 in the 15th minute when freshman Alyssa Ercolino (West Long Branch, N.J./Shore Regional) inserted a corner pass to senior Alex Carroll (Oceanport, N.J./Shore Regional) along the left side where she blasted a low shot to the back of the cage for her third goal of the season.
Just over 10 minutes later, the Hawks were awarded another penalty corner opportunity. Ercolino sent a feed to Carroll along the left side, but this time Carroll found senior Trish O'Dwyer (Dublin, Ireland/Loreto Beaufort) on the opposite side of the circle where she sent a hard shot inside the right post for her second goal of the year and a 2-0 MU lead.
Monmouth nearly scored another goal with eight minutes remaining in the first half. Lehigh’s insert pass on a penalty corner got away from the attacking front and found the stick of junior Brittany Evangelisti (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional/Iowa), who collected the loose ball and sent a long pass to classmate Amanda Schoenfeld (West Sayville, N.Y./Connetquot) along the left sideline. Schoenfeld pushed forward creating a two-on-one opportunity along with Chelsea Mann (Greentown, Pa./Wallenpaupack). Mann gathered a pass, carried the ball into the circle and fired a shot towards the right post where Lehigh’s keeper Julia Ward sprawled to make a diving save to keep the score at 2-0 heading into the break.
MU kept pressure on the Mountain Hawks early in the second half as freshman Casey Hanna (Seaville, N.J./Ocean City) sent a pass into the circle where it was collected by a Lehigh defender and erroneously knocked into the cage to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead 11 minutes into the stanza. The Blue and White capped off its scoring in the 52nd minute as junior Melanie Dawson (Berlin, N.J./Eastern Regional) sent a pass into the circle which was deflected into the air. Mann, who was sitting in front of an empty cage on the opposite post, tapped the ball in from midair for her second career marker.
Lehigh did not go away quietly as the Mountain Hawks scored twice in the final 10 minutes. Marissa Glatt, the reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Week, deflected a shot from Caitlin Bryan up and over Monmouth’s junior goalkeeper Amanda Westerweller, to get LU on the board. Four minutes later, Lindsey Schott capitalized on a penalty stroke to cut the Monmouth lead in half, but the Mountain Hawks would not get another shot off in the remaining six minutes.
Westerweller earns her first career victory, making four saves on the afternoon, while Ward made seven saves in defeat.
Monmouth held a slight edge in shots, 13-12, while Lehigh earned 11 penalty corners compared the Hawks’ seven.
Monmouth returns to action next weekend with a pair of home matches against Liberty (Friday, 3 p.m.) and Towson (Sunday, 12 p.m.).
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