WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Monmouth University junior Dana Costello (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Memorial) registered her first career hat trick with three goals, to propel the women's soccer team to a 4-3 victory over Saint Peter's on The Great Lawn on Friday night. Monmouth, which trailed in the match twice, netted the game-winner by Costello in the 81st minute, to even its record at 1-1.
"Our offense was very sharp tonight," stated head coach Krissy Turner, following her 150th career win at Monmouth. "Defensively we need to improve and minimize our mistakes. We will focus on it and work hard to get better. This team does not let mistakes bring them down."
The Hawks, who trailed 1-0 in the second minute of action after a turnover led to a Maggie Neiswanger score, outshot the Peahens 28-6 in the game, and held a 13-2 advantage in corner kick opportunities.
Saint Peter's capitalized on a Monmouth turnover just 1:03 into the match as Neiswanger beat sophomore goalkeeper Jocelyn McCoy (Crofton, Md./Archbishop Spalding) with a service to the far netting.
The Hawks knotted the score at 1-1 in the 30th minute when junior Alexandra Baca (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) found classmate Monique Plescia (Norwood, N.J./Northern Valley Regional-Old Tappan) 25 yards from goal for her eighth career tally. MU corralled a 2-1 advantage 3:11 later when senior Claudia Vazquez (Belford, N.J./Middletown North) fed Costello with a through ball and the midfielder beat SP goalie Caitlin Hoffer 1-v-1.
The match became level at 2-2 in the 38th minute when Monmouth senior Nicole Close (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Baldwinsville) played a ball back to McCoy, which was misplayed and ended up in the net for an own goal.
In the 59th minute, the Peahens struck again and took a 3-2 lead on Emily Fenice's penalty kick.
Monmouth knotted the score once again in the 65th minute when Costello laced a shot from just outside the 18-box into the upper 90, and capped her hat trick night off a feed from freshman Monique Goncalves (Warren, N.J./Watchung Hills Regional) in the 81st minute.
Monmouth forced Hoffer to make 12 saves for Saint Peter's, while McCoy made a pair of stops for the Hawks.
Costello, who now has 16 career goals in the Blue and White, increased her career point total to 43, in 39 games played.
Monmouth returns to action on Tuesday night, when the Hawks travel to South Orange, N.J. to battle Seton Hall at 7:00 p.m.