WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Junior captain Joseph Schmid (Kingston, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) scored the game-winning goal in the 67th minute as the Monmouth University men’s soccer team defeated Sacred Heart, 1-0, on Senior Day Sunday afternoon on The Great Lawn. With the win, the Hawks move to 11-4-3 (6-2-2 NEC) and clinch the No. 3 seed in the upcoming NEC Tournament, to be played at top-seeded Quinnipiac. Sacred Heart ends its season at 9-8-0 (5-5-0 NEC) with the loss. The Hawks will face second-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson in a rematch of last year’s NEC Tournament Championship.
“I’m really proud of the way the guys responded today,” said Monmouth Head Coach Robert McCourt. “We’ve had to deal with a lot of adversity off the field. A lot of the guys have been without power all week. It would’ve been easy for them to take a day off, but they responded really well. We’re excited about the upcoming NEC Tournament.”
After a scoreless first half in which the Hawks outshot the Pioneers, 7-0, Monmouth broke through in the 67th minute. Freshman Tomas Penfold (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale) found older brother, sophomore Andres Penfold (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale), near the top of the 18-yard box. The latter Penfold made a short pass into the box to lead Schmid to a one-on-one opportunity and the captain beat Sacred Heart goalkeeper Tucker Hackett.
Senior goalkeeper Alex Blackburn (Natick, Mass./Natick) made two saves to secure his 26th career win and 23rd career shutout. Hackett made four saves in defeat.
For the game, Monmouth took a 13-10 edge in shots, while corner kicks were an even 3-3.
Stay posted to www.GoMUHawks.com for the start time of Friday’s NEC Tournament Semifinal start time against Fairleigh Dickinson on the Quinnipiac Soccer Field in Hamden, Conn.