Dom Sarle and Andrew Gee tallied three points apiece as fourth seeded Monmouth shutout No. 5 seed Siena Soccer 3-0 in the MAAC Quarterfinals at the Hawks’ Hesse Field on the Great Lawn in West Long Branch, N.J. Siena finishes its productive 2014 season with a 10-8-2 final record, tying for the second most wins in a season in program history.
Monmouth (9-3-6) advances to the MAAC Semifinals Friday in Hamden, Conn. where they will face either the top seed in host Quinnipiac or second seeded Iona pending the result of Saturday night’s second quarterfinal match between third seeded Rider and No. 6 seed Fairfield.
Meeting for the second time in seven days after battling to a 1-1 draw last Saturday in Loudonville, the Saints and Hawks played evenly for the first half of the opening stanza. But in the 29th minute, Monmouth struck first blood when Miguel Alves headed in a cross.
In the 40th minute, Gee headed in a cross of his own to give the Hawks a commanding 2-0 lead heading into intermission. Sarle then put it away in the 68th minute for Monmouth which has lost just twice in its first 23 matches including the conference tournament since joining the MAAC.
Siena had its chances offensively and out-shot Monmouth 13-9 but couldn’t solve the Hawks’ defense which entered the day leading the nation with a 0.38 goals against average. Eric Klenofsky made seven saves to post his 12th shutout in 18 matches for Monmouth which record its seventh straight shutout at Hesse Field and ran its home scoreless streak to more than 687 minutes dating back to Sept. 1.
Freshman Alexander Tejera led the Saints offensively, putting all three of his shots on target. Freshman goalkeeper Josh Weiss made three saves for the Saints which fell to 5-13-2 all-time in the MAAC Tournament.
Despite the tough end to their season, the future is bright for a Siena Soccer program which achieved its third double digit win campaign in the past five seasons. The Saints graduate three seniors, but are expected to return nine starters including Weiss in goal and their top seven scorers as they look to take the next step in 2015 towards the program’s first MAAC Championship.