HAWKS HAND MARIST FIRST CONFERENCE LOSS, 12-11
The Hawks, who never trailed in the contest, had eight different player score in the match. Monmouth was led by freshman Kendall Lutts (Ellicott City, Md./Glenelg), who scored a career-high four goals, including the eventual game-winner with 2:34 to play. Monmouth goaltenders Caroline Huelster (Lenape, N.J./Lenape) and Katie Donohoe (Peterborough, Ontario/Holy Cross Secondary) combined for seven saves while nearly splitting time in the contest. MU opened up an 11-8 lead late in the contest but the Red Foxes would not go away quietly, scoring back to back goals to climb to within one. Lutts’ final goal gave the Hawks a two goal cushion, which they would need as Marist’s Erin Schroeder scored her squad’s 11th goal with 1:38 to play. Marist had a pair of chances at the tie in the closing seconds but Monmouth held on for the win.
“I’m very proud of the team,” said MU Head Coach Denise Wescott. “We did a lot of things offensively when we needed to and towards the end of the game we slowed them down from scoring. It was a team effort, we needed to work very hard to win this game. We didn’t back down and we kept fighting to get up by two, which we did. When we needed to make some saves and keep them away from the crease, we did that too. I’m pleased with the lack of turnovers we had today, I know that helped us. I’m just excited about being able to play next week.”
The two teams will face each other next Friday in the first round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament.
Lutts scored two goals in the first three minutes of the game before Marist was able to get on the board, cutting the Monmouth lead to one. Michelle Gonzales (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee) put Monmouth back up by a pair. The Hawks took a 6-2 lead with half of the period expired after MU answered a Red Fox goal with three straight, including Lutts’ third of the half and two from the stick of senior Danielle Rakowitz (Montville, N.J./Montville). Junior Allison Stathius (Delran, N.J./Delran) put Monmouth up 7-3 but the Red Foxes rattled off three straight goals before the half and the Blue & White led 7-6.
Senior Kaleigh Gibbons’ (Candia, N.H./Central) goal at the 22:31 mark gave the Hawks a 8-6 lead but Marist’s Jamie Romano answered less than a minute later. The two teams traded goals over the next three minutes before back to back goals from Monmouth freshmen Olivia Higson (Cheadle Hulme, England/Withington) and Claudia LaMarca (West Long Branch, N.J./Shore Regional) gave Monmouth a 11-8 lead with 12:44 remaining in regulation. Marist tallied back to back goals at the 11:05 and the 7:36 mark to climb to within one but Lutts’ unassisted goal with 2:34 would give Monmouth a 12-10 lead. Schroeder cut the Hawk lead to one and a shot in the final seconds sailed wide of the cage putting an end to a comeback attempt by Marist.
Lutts led all scorers with her four goals, adding two ground balls and two caused turnovers to her game totals. Gonzales had three points on a goal and an assist while Higson finished with a goal and an assist. Rakowitz had two goals while four other players had a goal for the Hawks.
Romano and Allison Gionta each had three goals for Marist while Schroeder finished with two. Red Fox goaltender Abigail Witczak had four saves in the contest.
Marist held a 25-17 advantage in shots and dominated draw controls 19-6. Monmouth committed 14 turnovers while Marist had 17 on the afternoon.
Monmouth, the four-seed in next week’s MAAC Tournament, will face top seeded Marist at 5 p.m. at the Demske Sports Complex on the campus of Canisius College.