NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The Monmouth University men’s soccer team played a man down for 72 minutes and fell at league-leading Iona, 1-0, Wednesday afternoon on Mazzella Field. Though John Egan (Smithtown, N.J./Hauppauge) was sent off with a red card following a hard tackle in the 18th minute, the Hawks played the next 62 minutes scoreless while down a man. But Franky Martinez scored the game winner in the 80th minute to give Iona (8-5-2, 5-2-0 MAAC) the victory. Monmouth moves to 6-3-4 (2-1-3 MAAC) with the loss.
“I thought our team showed a lot of character and heart playing down a man for most of the game,” said Monmouth Head Coach Robert McCourt. “Iona is a quality team. We look forward to playing our next two games back on our home field.”
Monmouth sophomore goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky (Lincoln Park, N.J./DePaul Catholic) made five saves in defeat, while Iona’s Julian Petrello made three saves. After a first half in which the Hawks and Gaels were an even 5-5 in shots and Monmouth took a 2-1 edge in corner kicks, the Gaels took a 10-3 edge in shots and a 7-2 advantage in corners in the second half.
Each side created early opportunities in the first half, with Marcos Nunez hitting a shot that Klenofsky was able to corral in the 11th minute and Miguel Alves (Newark, N.J./St. Benedict’s Prep) putting a shot on Petrello in the 13th minute.
After Egan was sent off in the 18th minute, the Hawks kept the pressure on as David Acuna Camacho (Heredia, Costa Rica/Costa Rica Youth National Team) put a shot on net in the 20th minute. Neither keeper was forced to make a save in the final 25 minutes of the first half.
The Gaels had three quick corner opportunities in the second half and got their first shot on goal of the half from Nunez in the 57th minute. Klenofsky was there for the save to keep the game scoreless.
Iona’s Ignacio Maganto’s shot went wide in the 77th minute and the Gaels continued to apply pressure with three consecutive corner kicks. Off the last corner, a rebound found its way to Martinez from point-blank range in front of the net for the score.
Iona kept the pressure on in the minutes that followed, forcing Klenofsky to make saves in the 82nd, 83rd and 87th minutes. Monmouth pushed forward in the final two minutes, with Derek Luke (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) capping a flurry inside the 18-yard box with a shot toward the left post. But Petrello was there for the save. With less than 30 seconds remaining, Klenofsky pushed forward and got the ball at his feet inside the box. His shot was on target, but deflected wide off an Iona defender.
The Hawks return to action Saturday night, when they play host to Marist. Kickoff from Hesse Field on The Great Lawn is scheduled for 7 p.m.