LOWELL, Mass. – The Monmouth University men’s soccer team fell in its season opener at UMass Lowell, 1-0, Friday night at Cushing Field. The River Hawks scored on a Paul Beatty goal off a Wuilito Fernandes assist in the 37th minute and held on for the victory.
After a scoreless first 36 minutes, the River Hawks got on the board at the 36:22 mark when Fernandes led Beatty past his defender and the redshirt freshman finished, one-on-one past Hawks goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky (Lincoln Park, NJ/DePaul Catholic) to the upper 90.
The Hawks came out firing in the second half, outshooting UMass Lowell, 8-4, in the period, including the first four chances of the half. 2014 America East Co-Rookie of the Year, goalkeeper Austin Kroll was equal to the task, saving a Danny Figarella (Wappingers Falls, NY/John Jay) shot in the 48th minute, before an Anderson Asiedu (Dormaa Ahenkro, Ghana/St. Benedict’s) shot was blocked in 55’ and Dan Pizzimenti’s (Manalapan, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy) header went wide in 58’.
Monmouth kept the pressure on with shots in the 68th, 73rd, 74th and 77th minutes, the last of which came off the foot of Colin Stripling (Scotch Plains, NJ/Scotch Plains-Fanwood) and was steered out of bounds by Kroll. The Hawks’ final shot came from Figarella in 88’ but it sailed high.
For the game, both teams got 11 shots off, with UMass Lowell taking a 4-3 edge in shots on goal. Klenofsky and Kroll made three saves apiece, while Monmouth took a 4-2 edge in corner kicks. The physical game featured seven yellow cards (four for UMass Lowell, three for Monmouth) and 19 River Hawks fouls to eight whistled on Monmouth.
The Hawks return to action Sunday, when they travel to No. 7 Providence. Kickoff from Treacy Track is slated for 4 p.m.