WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - For the third consecutive year, the Monmouth University men's soccer team started its season with a victory as it downed Saint Peter's, 1-0, Friday night on The Great Lawn. The Hawks, who played their first game under the newly installed lights, received the game winning goal early in the contest from junior Ryan Clark (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township).
"I thought we did a great job really making a commitment to get in and create chances for ourselves," said head coach Rob McCourt. "Our defenders did a good job limiting their opportunities. It was a great home win."
Just over five minutes into the match, RJ Allen (Old Bridge, N.J./St. Joseph's) played the ball down to the end line where he sent a cross in front of the goal mouth. Clark gathered the ball and fired into the back of the net past SPC's goalkeeper, Carlos Suarez, to give MU the early lead, which it took into halftime.
In the second stanza, freshman Matt Jeffrey (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township) fired a feed off a corner kick from point-blank range that was corralled by Suarez to preserve the goal advantage.
Junior goalkeeper Alex Blackburn (Natick, Mass./Natick) earned his second career shutout, not being forced to make a save. Suarez turned away 10 MU shots for the Peacocks.
MU, which is receiving votes in the NSCAA National Poll, controlled the shots, 24-0, and corner kicks, 13-4.
The Hawks return to action on Thursday, September 1st as they host Boston University at 7:00 p.m. on the Great Lawn.