WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Freshman forward Jalil Blalock (Elizabeth, NJ/Elizabeth) scored the first two goals of his collegiate career, including the game winner as the Monmouth University men’s soccer team dominated Howard, 5-0, Sunday night at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn. With the win, the Hawks improve to 1-3-0, while the Bison are now 0-4-0.
John Egan (Smithtown, NY/Hauppauge) added a goal and two assists for the Hawks, while Dave Nigro (Marlboro, NJ/Marlboro) and Zachary Pereira (Rahway, NJ/St. Benedict’s) also scored goals for Monmouth’s. Pereira’s tally was the freshman’s first-career goal, while Nigro also dished out an assist. Spencer Moeller (Bradenton, FL/IMG Academy), Derek Luke (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) and Miguel Alves (Newark, NJ/St. Benedict’s) also chipped in with one assist apiece. Goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky (Lincoln Park, NJ/DePaul Catholic) made one save in registering his first clean sheet of the season.
Blalock got the scoring started in the 27th minute as Egan’s through ball played him into the box for a one-on-one opportunity with Howard goalkeeper Sam Howard. Blalock found the back of the net inside the right post with what proved to be the game-winning goal.
Less than four minutes later, Moeller served the ball into the box to Egan, who played it down to Nigro, who also went right to beat the Bison’s goalkeeper.
Less than six minutes into the second half, Egan got on the board himself. Luke and Nigro connected on passes in the box before finding a streaking Egan, who tapped it in at the goal line for the score in the 52nd minute. In the 67th minute, Alves’ corner kick curled to Pereira, who headed it past Howard, while Blalock capped the scoring in the 69th minute, as a Bison back attempted to clear the ball, but the freshman intercepted and volleyed it out of mid-air from 20 yards out inside the right post.
For the game, Monmouth outshot Howard, 13-8, including a 7-1 edge in shots on goal. The Hawks took four corners to the Bison’s one.
Monmouth returns to action Saturday, when it plays host to Villanova. Kickoff from Hesse Field is slated for 7 p.m.