RIVERDALE, NY – John Egan (Smithtown, NY/Hauppauge) scored the equalizer in the 78th minute and Andrew Gee (Cranford, NJ/Cranford) finished the golden goal in the 108th minute as the nationally-ranked No. 25 Monmouth University men’s soccer team defeated Manhattan, 2-1, in double overtime Wednesday night at Gaelic Park. With the win, Monmouth (10-3-3, 6-0-2 MAAC) extends its unbeaten streak to 13 games (10-0-3). Manhattan dips to 2-9-1 (2-5-0 MAAC) with the loss.
“The guys showed amazing character coming back from a goal down on the road,” said Monmouth Head Coach Robert McCourt. “Manhattan played very well. Our guys stuck to the task and refused to lose. I am proud of the commitment and desire showed the entire match.”
The first solid chance of the game came in the seventh minute, as Dave Nigro (Marlboro, NJ/Marlboro) got a shot past Manhattan goalkeeper R.J. Noll, but a Jaspers defender cleared it off the line. The Hawks also cleared a Manhattan shot off the line at the 35-minute mark as the teams finished the first half scoreless.
The Jaspers broke through in the 53rd minute. Nigro’s shot on one of the field was blocked, starting the Manhattan offense back up field the other way. Troy Carrington made a 30-yard run and beat two defenders before going low inside the right post past Monmouth goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky (Lincoln Park, NJ/DePaul Catholic) to give the Jaspers a 1-0 lead.
The Hawks then went on the offensive. Monmouth accounted for the next four shots, forcing Noll to make a pair of saves, before David Acuña Camacho (Heredia, Costa Rica/Costa Rica YNT) sent a free kick into the box that Egan headed past Noll for the equalizer in the 78th minute.
Another flurry in the 83rd minute nearly netted the Hawks the go-ahead goal, as Danny Figarella’s (Wappingers Falls, NY/John Jay) shot was saved by Noll and the rebound from Jalil Blalock (Elizabeth, NJ/Elizabeth) was blocked.
In the first overtime, Manhattan’s Alex Shackley put a shot on Klenofsky at the 91-minute mark, but the Hawks’ keeper made the save. Figarella countered for Monmouth with a shot that went wide in the 94th minute and another that Noll saved in the 98th minute. Miguel Alves (Newark, NJ/St. Benedict’s) sent a shot wide less than a minute later, before Manhattan’s Ajani Phillips’ attempt was saved by Klenofsky with 17 seconds left in the first overtime.
The Hawks controlled possession in the second overtime. Manhattan cleared a corner in the 101st minute, before Alves’ left-footed attempt toward the left post was saved by Noll in the 104th minute. On the decisive tally in the 108th minute, Anderson Asiedu (Dormaa Ahenkro, Ghana/St. Benedict’s) beat his defender to the ball in the right corner, then beat him with the ball along the goal line before crossing to Gee for the blast past Noll.
For the game, Monmouth outshot Manhattan, 19-12, including an 8-5 edge in shots on goal. The Hawks also took four corner kicks to the Jaspers’ two. Klenofsky made three saves in the win, while Noll made five saves in defeat.
Monmouth returns to action Saturday, when it plays host to Niagara. Prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn, the Hawks will honor their four seniors during Senior Night ceremonies.