WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Junior midfielder Ryan Clark (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township) scored twice in the second half with the Hawks down a goal and a man to propel the Monmouth University men’s soccer team past Princeton, 2-1, Sunday afternoon on The Great Lawn. With the win, the Hawks complete the non-conference portion of the 2011 schedule at 6-2-0, while the Tigers fall to 1-4-1.
“I thought that we had a flat start but showed some character and finished strong,” said Monmouth Head Coach Robert McCourt. “We came out aggressive in the second half and created a few good chances early on. We also did a very good job defensively of defending their long throws. We went down a man and then a goal, then came back to win the game. The boys showed a lot of character in this win. We are excited to get the NEC portion of our schedule under way.”
Monmouth senior defender Anthony Vazquez (Belford, N.J./Middletown North) was sent off in the 65th minute, the result of a foul on Princeton’s Antoine Hoppenot inside the 18-yard box. Hoppenot followed with the score on a penalty kick to put the Tigers in front, 1-0.
Just over three minutes later, Clark unleashed a low shot from 30 yards directly in front of the net. The shot took a hop that skidded through the legs of Princeton goalkeeper Max Gallin to tie the game, 1-1.
In the 81st minute, Clark struck again, this time off a free kick. Setting up just outside the right corner of the box, Clark bent a shot over the Princeton wall and inside the near post into the upper 90.
For the game, the Hawks outshot the Tigers, 12-9, while Princeton took six corner kicks to Monmouth’s four. Monmouth’s Alex Blackburn (Natick, Mass./Natick) made two saves to pick up his sixth win of the year in net for the Hawks. Gallin made three saves in defeat for the Tigers.
The Hawks commence Northeast Conference play Friday, when they play host to Long Island on The Great Lawn. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.