NORFOLK, Va. – Redshirt senior Matt Beverin (Glen Rock, N.J./Glen Rock [Louisville]) scored in the 58th minute, but it wasn’t enough as the No. 18 Monmouth University men’s soccer team fell at Old Dominion, 3-1, on the final day of the Stihl Soccer Classic, Sunday afternoon at the ODU Soccer Complex. With the loss, the Hawks fall to 3-1-0 on the season, while the Monarchs, who came into the game receiving votes in the NSCAA/Continental Tire National Poll, improve to 3-0-0. On the strength of a 1-0 win on Friday against William & Mary, Monmouth finished second in the tournament.
“Today was a good college soccer game between two pretty talented teams,” said Monmouth Head Coach Rob McCourt. “Overall the game was pretty balanced. The difference was ODU did well finishing their chances and we did not.”
Following the game, seniors Anthony Vazquez (Belford, N.J./Middletown North [St. John’s]) and RJ Allen (Old Bridge, N.J./St. Joseph’s) and sophomore Joseph Schmid (Kingston, Pa./Wyoming Valley W. [Villanova]) were named to the all-tournament team.
The game was statistically very evenly played, with the Monarchs taking a 13-11 edge in shots and the Hawks getting five corner kicks to ODU’s four. But after Old Dominion’s Yannick Smith got the Monarchs on the board off a Gideon Asante deflection in the 26th minute, the Hawks were done in by an own goal 10 minutes later.
The Hawks had a pair of opportunities in the first half that would not find the back of the net. Monarchs goalkeeper Victor Francoz made a terrific save of Hawks freshman Kalle Sotka’s (Helsinki, Finland/Makelanrinteen Sports HS) shot off a breakaway. Later, fellow Hawks freshman Matt Jeffery (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township) got on the end of a corner kick, but his shot was cleared off the goal line.
Trailing 2-0 at the half, Beverin cut the deficit in half in the 58th minute. Sotka and Schmid were credited with assists on the play.
But ODU tallied an insurance goal in the 66th minute, as Tim Hopkinson scored off a Chris Harmon assist.
Hawks junior goalkeeper Alex Blackburn (Natick, Mass./Natick) made four saves, while allowing his first three goals of the season in defeat. Francoz made five saves to secure the victory for ODU.
“The tourney was a great experience,” said McCourt. “There were four nationally ranked teams. Of course we wanted to finish first, but we showed well and can learn a lot from this experience.”
The Hawks return home to face intrastate foe Seton Hall on Friday. The game will be played at 7 p.m. under the newly-installed lights on the Great Lawn.