WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Junior forward Dave Nigro (Marlboro, NJ/Marlboro) contributed to all three of the Monmouth University men’s soccer team’s goals in a 3-1 victory over longtime conference rival Quinnipiac Saturday night at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn. The Hawks played arguably their best possession soccer of the season to improve to 8-3-2 (4-0-1 MAAC) and run their unbeaten streak to 10 games (8-0-2). Meanwhile, the Bobcats slip to 0-7-4 (0-2-2 MAAC).
Nigro got the scoring started in the 11th minute, collecting Colin Stripling’s (Scotch Plains, NJ/Scotch Plains-Fanwood) cross ahead of the pack before going low inside the right post to beat Quinnipiac goalkeeper Triston Henry one-on-one. The Hawks would hold onto the 1-0 lead into halftime.
In the 54th minute, Nigro made his way into the left side of the box with pace before being taken down by a charging Henry off his line. A penalty kick was awarded and David Acuña Camacho (Heredia, Costa Rica/Costa Rica YNT) didn’t miss for his first goal of the season.
Senior back Derek Luke (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) had his sights set on scoring all night, with a free kick hitting the crossbar in the 30th minute and two shots sailing high in the 62nd and 63rd minutes. He wouldn’t miss in the 65th minute, taking Nigro’s thru ball from midfield to the top, left corner of the 18-yard box. Luke then struck a laser into the right upper 90, leaving Henry without a chance to stake Monmouth to a 3-0 lead.
Quinnipiac was awarded a PK in the 72nd minute for a foul in the box off a Bobcats’ corner kick. Tobias Esche calmly went left to beat Hawks goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky (Lincoln Park, NJ/DePaul Catholic). The Monmouth back line buckled down in the final 18-plus minutes and didn’t allow a shot on goal the rest of the way.
For the game, shots were an even 12-12, with Monmouth taking a 6-4 edge in shots on goal. Quinnipiac took a 5-2 edge in corner kicks. Klenofsky secured three saves in the win, while Henry also made three saves in defeat.
The Hawks return to action Wednesday, when they play host to hOURglass rival Saint Peter’s. The 7 p.m. kickoff can be seen live on ESPN3.