March 23, 2012

Monmouth Opens NEC Slate Beating St. Francis

from press release

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Monmouth University's women's lacrosse team (2-7, 1-0 NEC) earned an 11-6 win over Saint Francis University (1-7, 0-1 NEC) in the 2012 Northeast Conference opener at Kessler Field on Friday afternoon.

A pair of quick scoring runs for the Hawks took control of the game on two separate occasions, including late in the second half to secure the MU victory. After trailing for almost the entire contest, Saint Francis tied the game at 6-6 on a Danielle Conwell goal with 13:25 left in regulation but he Hawks answered by launching a five goal run that covered less than five minutes to cruise to their first home win of the season.

Sophomore Kaleigh Gibbons (Candia, N.J./Central/Robert Morris)finished with a game-high five points, on two goals and a trio of assists as the Hawks outshot the Red Flash 33-19.  The Hawk defense, which held the NEC points leader Conwell to just two points, forced eight turnovers in the win.

Saint Francis opened the game up with a Rachel Larson goal at the 25:37 mark. The Hawks rattled off four straight goals in a span of less than three minutes to take a 4-2 lead.  The Red Flash scored to cut the lead to two but sophomore Alex Marino (Howell, N.J./Freehold) scored with one second remaining in regulation to give MU a 5-2 edge going into halftime.

The Red Flash opened the second half scoring with a pair of goals to cut the lead to 5-4 before Marino struck for the second time with 20:42 in the half.  SFU's Kara Ledger and Conwell scored the next two goals tying the game at 6-6 before the Hawks began their stretch of dominance.  Gibbons' second goal of the game came 33 seconds after Conwell's tying effort which Marino then followed up just over a minute later to give the Hawks a 8-6 lead.  Gibbons fed senior Erica Abendschoen (West Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) with 9:49 left to push the MU lead to three goals. Less than a minute later freshman Karlee Dean (Medford Lakes, N.J./Shawnee) scored an unassisted goal and senior Sam Lillo (Short Hills, N.J./Milburn) finished the day's score with over 8 minutes to play. The Monmouth defense kept the game scoreless the rest of the way as the Hawks secured their second victory of the season.

Freshman goalie Katie Donohoe (Peterborough, Ontario/Holy Cross Secondary School) had nine saves in the game, also finishing with three ground balls and a caused turnover.  Gibbons had two goals and three assists while Marino, the team's leading scorer, had a trio of goals, two ground balls and two caused turnovers. Sophomore defender Lauren Johnson (Bellmore, N.Y./Mepham) had two draw controls and a pair of caused turnovers in the win.  Abendschoen finished with two goals off the bench for the Hawks.

Monmouth is now 11-0 all-time against SFU. Red Flash netminder Caitlin Flynn made 17 saves in the loss. The two teams were an even 9-9 in draw controls.

The Hawks are back at home on Sunday against Robert Morris at 12 p.m.

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