Published: October 29, 2016
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Senior David Nigro (Marlboro, NJ/Marlboro) assisted on all three Hawks goals as the Monmouth University men’s soccer team defeated Marist, 3-2, on Senior Night Saturday at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn. With the win, the Hawks close out the regular season at 6-9-2 (5-5-0 MAAC) and await Wednesday’s results to see whether their 15 points will be enough for a MAAC Championship berth. Marist dips to 10-6-1 (5-4-0 MAAC) with the setback.
On each of the three goals, Nigro utilized one additional pass to set up the goal scorer. Monmouth got on the board in the 23rd minute, when Jake Areman (Freehold, NJ/Colts Neck) crossed to Nigro in the box, where the senior headed it across the mouth of goal to Schaefer for the finish. After Marist tied the game on a Bruce Jeter finish in the 27th minute, Andrew Gee (Cranford, NJ/Cranford) beat his defender to the goal line and crossed to Nigro, who left it off for Brandon McCarthy’s (Ludlow, MA/South Kent) finish in the 39th minute.
Monmouth added what proved to be a needed insurance tally in the 54th minute, when Michael Luke (Martinsville, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) played the ball into the box on a set piece, before Nigro chested it down to Schaefer for the finish inside the left post. Marist would draw back to within one on a Brandon Curtis goal in the 86th minute, but the Hawks held off the Red Foxes for the final four-plus minutes of play to preserve the victory.
QUOTES & NOTES
“I’m really proud of the guys. They showed what we’re capable of tonight. So, hopefully we’re fortunate enough to get some results and continue our season. I’ve believe in these guys from day one. We’ve had some hiccups. But tonight, we they showed what they’re capable of and I’m proud that they stuck with the plan.” – Monmouth Head Coach Robert McCourt
- Nigro is the first Hawk to compile three assists in a game since Ryan Clark on Sept. 30, 2011, against LIU Brooklyn.
- Schaefer’s two-goal game is the first by a Monmouth freshman since Kalle Sotka scored twice in the 2011 Northeast Conference Championship Game against Fairleigh Dickinson on Nov. 13, 2011. The goals were the first of Schaefer’s collegiate career.
- With eight assists and 18 points, Nigro joins some elite company among Monmouth greats. The eight assists are the most in the last 10 years, tying Ryan Clark (2011) and RJ Allen (2009). The last time a Hawk distributed more assists came in 2006, when Tom Gray finished with 14 assists. Nigro’s 18 points are the most by a Monmouth player since Ryan Kinne racked up 30 points in 2010.
- Monmouth improved its lead in the all-time series with Marist to 11-5-2, including a 2-0-2 mark since joining the MAAC in 2013.
- The Hawks held Marist’s Cameron Harr, the nation’s second-leading scorer entering the game with 16 goals, off the scoresheet.
- The win in goal gives Monmouth senior goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky (Lincoln Park, NJ/DePaul Catholic) 36 for his collegiate career, just two off the all-time MAAC record of 38, held by Iona’s Nils Binstock.
CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS
- Though Marist took a 16-7 advantage in overall shots, the Red Foxes enjoyed a slim 7-5 margin in shots on goal.
- Klenofsky made five saves to secure the victory, while his counterpart, Marist freshman Ryan Sinnott, made two stops.
- Marist took eight corner kicks to Monmouth’s two.
The Hawks await a potential MAAC Championship Quarterfinal berth, pending Wednesday’s results around the league. A Canisius loss at Niagara or an Iona loss or tie at Manhattan would punch Monmouth’s ticket. In the event that both Canisius and Iona win on Wednesday, the Hawks’ final hope would be a combination of wins by both Rider over Saint Peter’s and Siena over Marist to form a three-way tie at 15 points between Monmouth, Marist and Iona. In that case, Monmouth would take the No. 5 seed by virtue of its 1-0 win over Rider on Oct. 5. The first tie-breaker compares the three teams’ records against each other, with all three teams being a collective 1-1 in the “mini conference.” Results against the top teams in the league standings are then compared, with Monmouth being the only team in the MAAC to defeat Rider, which in the aforementioned scenario would be, at worst, the No. 2 seed. Only the Broncs and Niagara have defeated Quinnipiac, which currently sits in first place in the MAAC Standings, forcing the tie-breaker to move on to results against Rider.