MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Trailing 4-0 with under 20 minutes left in regulation, the Monmouth University field hockey team scored three unanswered goals, including a pair by Trish O'Dwyer (Dublin, Ireland/Loreto Beaufort), but the Hawks could not add the equalizer as they fell at Robert Morris, 4-3, Sunday afternoon in the regular season finale at Joe Walton Stadium. With the loss, the Hawks conclude their season at 6-12 and 3-3 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play, while the Colonials improve to 10-7 overall and 3-3 in league play and earn a trip to the MAAC Tournament to be held next weekend.
Casey Hanna (Seaville, N.J./Ocean City) started the Hawks’ rally with 18 minutes remaining in regulation. The freshman carried the ball to the end line where she sent a shot through the legs of Robert Morris’ keeper, Erin McKenzie, to cut the RMU lead to 4-1. O’Dwyer notched her first goal of the afternoon five minutes later off a corner play. Freshman Alyssa Ercolino (West Long Branch, N.J./Shore Regional) sent a feed to senior Alex Carroll (Oceanport, N.J./Shore Regional) at the top of the circle where she dished off to the Ireland native who blasted a one-timer to bring the Hawks within two. In the 65th minute Ercolino and Carroll again set up O’Dwyer on a corner play for her 12th goal of the season to push the Hawks within one, but MU could not create another chance in the final minutes.
Robert Morris wasted no time to get on the scoreboard as it took a 1-0 lead 18 seconds into regulation on Jamie Hartley’s marker. The Colonials increased their advantage in the 15th minute when Harriet Brown intercepted a pass and sent a high shot over MU’s starting goalkeeper Teresa Mathews (Lumberton, N.J./Rancocas Valley) to go up by two. Starting the second half just like the first, RMU struck in the opening minute of the stanza as Julianne Alspaugh tucked a shot inside the right post just 39 seconds in give the Colonials a three-goal lead. RMU continued its attack as Hartley connected on her second goal of the game in the 42nd minute, hammering home a rebound to push its advantage to 4-0.
Mathews, who made three saves in 43:16 minutes of action, suffers the loss, while Amanda Westerweller (Holmdel, N.J./Holmdel) did not record a save in 11:35 minutes of play. The Hawks’ defense did not allow a shot in the 15 minutes it played with an extra attacker. McKenzie turned away five shots, and received help from the post once, in the victory.
Monmouth outshot the Colonials 13-10, including a 9-6 edge in the second half, while also holding a 10-6 advantage in penalty corners.
The game marks the final contest for the Hawks’ three seniors: Carroll, Mathews and Ali Askinas (West Chester, Pa./B. Reed Henderson). Carroll, a defender, finishes her career top-five in program history in points (82), goals (31), and assists (20), while Mathews ends her career with 26 wins cage, with a 2.33 goals against average and eight shutouts. Askinas, who did not miss a start in 80 career games, posted 11 career defensive saves over her four years in a MU uniform.
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