WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Monmouth freshmen Kalle Sotka (Helsinki, Finland/Makelanrinteen Sports) and Andres Penfold (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale) each scored a goal as the Hawks cruised past Quinnipiac, 2-0, Friday night on The Great Lawn. With the pivotal win, the Hawks (10-4-0, 4-2-0 NEC) move past the Bobcats (5-6-0, 3-2-0 NEC) in the Northeast Conference point standings after being tied at nine points apiece entering the night.
The Hawks dominated possession, taking a 19-7 advantage in shots, including a 10-0 edge in the first half. Junior goalkeeper Alex Blackburn (Natick, Mass./Natick) made six saves to secure his ninth clean sheet of the season. The Hawks, which entered the week fifth in the nation in shutout percentage, improved their mark to .643.
Sotka scored his team-leading fourth goal in the 36th minute, when RJ Allen’s (Old Bridge, N.J./St. Joseph’s) cross found Ryan Clark (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township), who pushed it on to Sotka on one touch. Sotka shot from inside the six-yard box for the score. Allen and Clark were credited with assists, their sixth and seventh of the season, respectively.
In the 53rd minute, the Hawks pushed the advantage to two goals when Joseph Schmid’s (Kingston, Pa./Wyoming Valley [Villanova]) corner found Penfold 15 yards straight out in front of the net. Penfold went high to beat Quinnipiac goalkeeper Borja Angiotia, who made six saves in defeat for the Bobcats.
The Hawks nearly made it 3-0 late in the 65th minute. Angiotia came out to make the initial save on Penfold’s shot from the corner of the box, before a Quinnipiac defender made the save at the goal line on Sotka’s rebound chance.
The Hawks return to action Sunday, when they play host to St. Francis (N.Y.). The second game of a women’s and men’s soccer doubleheader, kickoff from The Great Lawn is slated for 2 p.m.