FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The top-seeded Monmouth University men’s soccer team played No. 2 Quinnipiac to a scoreless draw in the 2013 MAAC Championship Game, but fell on PK’s, 4-3, Sunday afternoon at Fairfield University’s Lessing Field. With the tie, the Hawks move to 8-6-6 on the season, while Quinnipiac is now 9-4-6 and takes the MAAC’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. For their efforts in the tournament, senior Joseph Schmid (Kingston, Pa./Wyoming Valley West), junior Matt Jeffery (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township) and sophomore David Acuna Camacho (Heredia, Costa Rica/Costa Rica Youth National Team) were named to the All-MAAC Championship Team.
For the game, Quinnipiac took a 16-9 edge in shots, but put just three on goal, all saved by Monmouth freshman goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky (Lincoln Park, N.J./DePaul Catholic). Klenofsky posted his ninth shutout of the year in 12 starts. Monmouth forced MAAC Championship MVP Borja Angoitia to make five saves. The Bobcats took nine corner kicks to the Hawks’ four.
Francois “Paco” Navarro (Paris, France) was in the middle of three scoring chances in the first 20 minutes of the game, sending a dangerous cross in the 11th minute, having a shot saved in the 15th and forcing a free kick in the 18th minute.
Jeffery, the MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, broke up a good scoring chance for Quinnipiac in the 29th minute. In the 33rd minute, Quinnipiac’s Stevenson Hawkey put a shot on goal, but Klenofsky was positioned perfectly for the save. Navarro countered with a shot from 25 yards out off a free kick and just missed the target wide left.
In the 58th minute, QU created three chances, but the first was punched wide by Klenofsky followed by two shots off target. Quinnipiac’s Machel Baker narrowly missed a goal in the 72nd minute volleying a ball out of the air from inside the 18-yard box that went just wide of the right post.
Arguably Monmouth’s best chance of the game came in the 80th minute, when Derek Luke (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) brought back memories of his NEC Tournament Semifinal goal on Lessing Field, blasting a bending shot from 20 yards out atop the left corner of the 18-yard box. The shot similarly went to the upper 90 but Angoitia skied to make the save.
Quinnipiac’s Justin Ward’s header went just wide of the left post in the 87th minute and Klenofsky smothered a cross in the 90th minute to send the game to overtime. MU fought off three straight corners and another scoring chance around the 94th minute, before Navarro’s shot was steered wide and a Monmouth header went high in the 95th minute. Baker got a head on a cross in the 99th minute, but it sailed high and the game went to a second overtime.
Luke sent a shot on net in the 105th minute, but Angoitia made the save. Penfold sent a shot high over the crossbar a minute later, before Klenofsky made a diving save to the left post to thwart the Bobcats in the 108th minute. Quinnipiac’s Erik Panzer had the last good scoring chance for either team, but his header went high and wide with 2:15 left to play in the second overtime.
In the penalty kick shootout, Angoitia went first for Quinnipiac, going right to beat Klenofsky. Penfold then missed the target high to put QU on top, 1-0, after one round. After QU’s Simon Hinde and the Hawks’ Camacho each found the back of the net, Quinnipiac’s Brandon Strain-Goode hit the crossbar. Schmid squared up the shootout at 2-2 with his next PK. The next two Bobcats, Tobias Esche and Simon Brossier, each found the back of the net, while Luke made his try for the Hawks. John Egan (Smithtown, N.Y./Hauppauge) had to make his PK to extend the shootout, but Angoitia went right to make the stop and win it for Quinnipiac.