WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ - Monmouth University improved to 4-0 in women's soccer action on Tuesday night behind its 5-3 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson University on Hesse Field, as junior Erica Murphy (Millstone Township, NJ/Pennington Prep) scored twice and junior Julie Spracklin (Eastampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley Regional) accounted for a pair of assists for the Hawks.
Monmouth, now 4-0 to open a season for the first time since 2010, also got goals from senior back Kristen Brett (Hebron, CT/RHAM), junior forward Alexis McTamney (Bordentown, NJ/Bordentown Regional) and junior forward Rachael Ivanicki (Marlboro, NJ/Colts Neck), as the Hawks improve to 14-1-2 all-time against their former conference rival.
"The first half was our best half of soccer this season," stated head coach Krissy Turner, whose Hawks led 3-1 at the break. "The second half was a step backwards in that we did not stay composed and dominate the midfield. A five goal output is a good night on the Great Lawn but we need to minimize the opponents' chances as we gave up too many services and shots tonight."
Monmouth got on the board in the 11th minute when sophomore midfielder Sophie Centi (Churchville, MD/The John Carroll School) slid a ball into the box to a streaking Murphy for Murphy's second goal and Centi's second helper on the season. The Blue & White grabbed a 2-0 edge in the 31st minute when Brett fired in a corner kick service from Spracklin for the senior back's second career goal.
The Hawks, who surrendered their first goal 309:31 minutes into the season, had their lead cut in half to 2-1 in the 40th minute when Esther Rochon netted her first of two tallies on the night.
Monmouth responded 1:25 later in the half when Spracklin was credited with her team-leading fourth assist, finding McTamney in front of the cage, for the 3-1 lead at the intermission.
The Blue & White increased the edge to 4-1 in the 64th minute when sophomore Rachelle Ross (Mount Laurel, NJ/Lenape) lifted a cross into the box that Ivanicki nodded in for her third goal in four games, before the Knights capitalized on a Monmouth miscue in the back to get within 4-2 on Rochon's second in the 67th minute.
Murphy pounced on a loose ball in the box, which was mishandled by FDU's goalkeeper Felicia Burr in the 84th minute to push Monmouth in front 5-2, before a late counter attack by the Knights resulted in a Rachel Hoekstra goal with 51 seconds left on the clock, accounting for the final 5-3 score.
FDU outshot Monmouth 18-12 in the match, as junior goalkeeper Sydney Lavan (Jackson, NJ/Jackson Memorial) made five saves for the Hawks, while Burr made a single stop for the Knights, who also held an 8-4 edge in corner kick opportunities.
Monmouth returns to action on Thursday night when the Hawks travel to Lafayette College for a non-conference match with the Leopards of the Patriot League at 7:00 p.m.
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