WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Despite a two-goal effort from senior Trish O'Dwyer (Dublin, Ireland/Loreto Beaufort), the Monmouth University field hockey team fell to visiting Quinnipiac University, 4-2, Sunday afternoon in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play on So Sweet A Cat Field. The Hawks suffer their first MAAC loss of the season, falling to 3-1 in league play and 6-10 overall, while the Bobcats improve to 10-6 on the year and 3-1 in MAAC action.
Quinnipiac jumped out to a 2-0 lead within the first 10:07 of regulation as Jennalise Taylor and Jess Rusin both converted successful corner plays, forcing Monmouth to take its timeout. The Hawks cut the lead in half with 11 minutes remaining when O’Dwyer took a pass from senior Alex Carroll (Oceanport, N.J./Shore Regional) and blasted a shot past Bobcats’ goalkeeper Megan Conaboy for her first marker of the game.
QU added to its lead 4:02 into the second stanza when Taylor registered her second tally of the contest to put the Bobcats up 3-1, but the Blue and White answered 1:44 later. Freshman Alyssa Ercolino (West Long Branch, N.J./Shore Regional) sent a corner insert pass to the top of the circle where junior Melanie Dawson (Berlin, N.J./Eastern Regional/UNC) pushed stopped it back into the circle to O’Dwyer who unloaded a shot inside the right post for her ninth goal of the season.
Quinnipiac created a solid chance with 17 minutes remaining as Taylor and Megan Osantisch both fired point-blank shots on cage, but Hawks’ goalkeeper Teresa Mathews (Lumberton, N.J./Rancocas Valley) was up to the task, pushing both shots aside. The Bobcats’ Savanna Reilly gave QU an insurance goal three minute later, hammering in a rebound off an initial shot from Osantisch, to push Quinnipiac ahead, 4-2.
With eight minutes remaining, Hannah Loux (Souderton, Pa./Christopher Dock Mennonite) sent a pass to O’Dwyer along the right side that sprung a two-on-one opportunity. With the defender closing in, the forward sent a pass to Lauren Weller (New Hope, Pa./New Hope Solebury) in the circle where the freshman got a stick on the ball that went under Conaboy, but wide of the cage. The Hawks earned two penalty corner opportunities in the final four minutes, but could not generate a shot.
Conaboy made two saves to earn the victory, and received help from a defensive save from Cate Colucci, while Mathews turned away four shots in the set back.
For the game, Quinnipiac held a slight edge in shots, 9-8, and penalty corners, 7-6.
Monmouth returns to action next Friday, November 1st, when it host in-state rival Rider in its home finale at 4 p.m. The Hawks close out the regular season on Sunday, November 3rd, at Robert Morris.
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