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Published: September 26, 2015
BUFFALO, NY – Junior forward Dave Nigro (Marlboro, NJ/Marlboro) and junior midfielder Colin Stripling (Scotch Plains, NJ/Scotch Plains-Fanwood) scored first-half goals within four minutes of each other as the Monmouth University men’s soccer team opened MAAC play with a 2-0 road win at Canisius, Saturday night at the Demske Sports Complex. With the win, the Hawks improve to 5-3-1 (1-0-0 MAAC), while the Golden Griffins fall to 3-4-1 (0-1-0 MAAC). “It’s great to start the MAAC portion of the season with a win,” said Monmouth Head Coach Robert McCourt. “The guys played well on the road in a tough place to play against a good Canisius team. We put in a 90-minute shift and I’m happy we got the result.” Monmouth goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky (Lincoln Park, NJ/DePaul Catholic) made three saves in posting his and the Monmouth defense’s fourth clean sheet of the season. Freshmen Zachary Pereira (Rahway, NJ/St. Benedict’s) and Danny Figarella (Wappingers Falls, NY/John Jay) each dished out an assist. Canisius developed the first quality opportunities of the match, with an errant shot by Melvin Blair popping high into the air and coming down to hit the crossbar in the 16th minute. The Griffs kept possession deep in the Hawks’ defensive zone and Nicolo Baudo sent a shot wide in the 17th minute. Perhaps the Griffs best chance of the game came less than a minute later, with Chris Berardi putting a shot on net, but a charging Klenofsky was able to make a kick save as Berardi went left. After Nigro did well to get a shot off that sailed wide in the 29th minute, the junior wouldn’t miss on his next opportunity. Pereira sent a cross from the right corner that found Nigro’s feet. Nigro hesitated eight feet in front of the net to let his defender pass and shot inside the right post to beat Coughlin, giving Monmouth a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute. Just 3:33 later, the Hawks would make Canisius pay for a pair of miscues to make it a 2-0 lead. A turnover in the midfield gave Monmouth a two-on-one opportunity, with Figarella’s shot heading straight at Coughlin. But the Griffs’ goalkeeper let the ball slip through his fingers and Stripling was there to tap it into the net in the 36th minute. Monmouth worked well to limit the Griffs’ chances in the second half. Mathew Santos managed to get a shot on net in the 73rd minute, but Klenofsky deflected it wide for the save. The only other Canisius shot that was credited on net was Thomas Teupen’s header in the 89th minute that likely wouldn’t have reached the goal line had Klenofsky not sprinted off his line to collect it. The Hawks return to MAAC action Wednesday, when they play host to Iona. Kickoff from Hesse Field on The Great Lawn is scheduled for 7 p.m. on ESPN3.
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