Published: August 29, 2014
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Senior Dom Sarle and sophomore Dave Nigro recorded two goals and an assist each as the Monmouth University men’s soccer team rolled to a 5-0 victory over UMass Lowell in the season opener Friday night on Hesse Field on The Great Lawn.
The Hawks earned a season opening win for the fifth time in the last six years, while their five goals is the highest offensive production since defeating Long Island 5-0 during the 2006 campaign. Sophomore goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky turned away four shots to post his third straight clean sheet dating back to last year.
"It was great to have such a positive start to the game," stated head coach Robert McCourt, whose side has scored at least four goals in a game 12 times in his tenure with the Hawks. "We have been working hard on creating chances, and getting some goals earlier in the games. Defensively we were solid again. We feel we still have a lot of room to grow, but this was a very positive start."
The Blue and White got on the board in the first five minutes of play when Nigro intercepted the ball and sent a feed to Sarle who connected on a shot from just outside the box into the far post for his first marker of the night. His second goal, an unassisted tally, came six minutes later after his originally shot was blocked, he recollected and fired a shot by a sprawling Austin Kroll to put MU ahead 2-0.
Nigro and Sarle reconnected in the 27th minute to extend MU’s lead. UMass Lowell’s defensive unit turned the ball over in the box, and a pressing Sarle toe-poked the ball to an unmarked Nigro inside the 18-yard box where he sent a shot to the back of the night for his first goal of the season. Less than a minute later, the River Hawks committed another turnover in the defensive zone, where junior John Egan picked up the loose ball and fed senior Bryant Avalos, who took one touch and unloaded shot inside the left post to cap off the four-goal half.
MU converted another goal in the 61st minute when junior Derek Luke delivered a long pass to the feet of Nigro, who turned and found the back of the cage for his second tally of the night.
For the game, the Hawks outshot UML 13-7, while the River Hawks held a 6-5 edge in corner kick opportunities.
Monmouth returns to action this Monday night, September 1st when Lehigh University travels to West Long Branch for a 7:00 p.m. match on Hesse Field on The Great Lawn.
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