WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.- Monmouth University’s women’s lacrosse team (0-1) fell in its home opener to Fresno State (1-0) by a score of 8-6 on Sunday at Monmouth Stadium.
The Hawks secured a 4-1 halftime lead but the second half belonged to the Bulldogs who outscored MU 7-2 to claim the 8-6 victory.
“I was disappointed in the team today,” said head coach Denise Wescott. “I didn’t think we came out with the energy and the level of desire that we needed to match what Fresno State was doing against us. I think we got shots off but their goalie made some saves. They had a couple of nice drivers and I think that hurt us. We didn’t do what we needed to do to win the game and that’s disappointing. I really think when you start a season you want to start it off with a win.”
Fresno State scored 58 seconds into the second frame when Allison Proust scored her second of three goals to cut the lead to two. Five minutes later Holly Cisneros scored to get Fresno State to within one and then tied the game up herself on an unassisted marker with just over 18 minutes to play. Monmouth retook the lead briefly on a Stephanie Anderson (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham/Rutgers) free position goal with 17:29 remaining but that advantage would only last for five more minutes.
Poust started a three-goal run for Fresno State over a six minute span that would secure the lead and the win for the Bulldogs. It was sophomore Anjelica Fuccillo’s goal with 5:59 remaining that would be the eventual game-winner with Anderson notching another goal for the Hawks to climb to within one with 4:44 to go. Fuccillo’s insurance goal at the 3:36 mark would finish the scoring at 8-6 in the meeting between the two teams.
The first half was all Monmouth as a the Hawks took a 3-0 lead over the first 27 minutes, with goals from freshmen Claudia LaMarca (West Long Branch, N.J./Shore Regional) and Kendall Lutts (Ellicott City, Md./Glenelg) and a marker from senior Kaleigh Gibbons (Candia, N.H./Central/Robert Morris). Poust was the only Bulldog to get on the board in the first half when she scored with 23 seconds left but her goal was answered by Hawk Allison Stathius (Delran, N.J./Delran) with just nine ticks remaining in the first half.
Anderson led the Hawks in scoring while sophomore Nicole Markowitz (Baldwin, N.Y./Baldwin) led the MU defense with three caused turnovers. Proust led all scorers with her three goals while freshman midfielder Kyleigh Westergarth had three ground balls and two caused turnovers for Fresno in the win.
Fresno State held a 22-19 advantage in shots, with Monmouth mustering just seven shots in the second half. Monmouth was 4-of-12 on free position shots while Fresno State was 1-of-7 from the eight meter. The Hawks were whistled for 46 fouls compared to just 19 for the Bulldogs. Each team had eight saves in the game.
Weather not only delayed the game a day, but the start of the game was pushed back almost 90 minutes as the field was cleared of ice.
Monmouth returns to action on February 19 against Stony Brook on Long Island.