WEST HARTFORD, CT – Jalil Blalock (Elizabeth, NJ/Elizabeth) scored the equalizer in the 29th minute off a David Nigro (Marlboro, NJ/Marlboro) assist as the Monmouth University men’s soccer team played the University of Hartford to a 1-1 draw Thursday night at Al-Marzook Field. With the tie, Monmouth moves to 0-1-2, while Hartford is now 0-2-1.
The Hawks in red opened the scoring on Udi Cohen’s free kick from just outside the 18-yard box into the near side upper 90 in the 26th minute. Less than three minutes later, Nigro secured a loose ball in the box and patiently fed Blalock, who went right to beat Hartford goalkeeper Jimmy Slayton. The two teams played the final 81-plus minutes scoreless to end in the draw.
QUOTES & NOTES
“I’m really proud of these guys tonight. The odds were stacked against us. We’re down a few guys and then we got stuck in a crazy traffic situation. So we drove five hours to play, got about a 20-minute warm-up in and actually played a really good game. So I’m really proud of the character they showed tonight.” – Head Coach Robert McCourt
- Sophomore forward Jalil Blalock scored his first goal of the season and the third of his career. He scored the other two goals in the same game, Sept. 6, 2015, against Howard.
- Senior midfielder Miguel Alves (Newark, NJ/St. Benedict’s) made his first start of the season and the 29th of his collegiate career. The senior started all 20 games played in 2015.
- Senior forward David Nigro dished out his eighth career assist. After dishing out one helper as a freshman, he contributed three assists in both his sophomore and junior seasons.
- Eight Monmouth Hawks played all 110 minutes of Thursday night’s game.
CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS
- Hartford took a 16-9 advantage in shots and a 6-3 edge in corner kicks. Hartford also committed more fouls (19-9) and was cautioned more (3-1) than Monmouth.
- Making his second career start in net, Chris Seager (Ocean Township, NJ/Ocean) made a career-high four saves to preserve the tie.
- Blalock, Colin Stripling (Scotch Plains, NJ/Scotch Plains-Fanwood) and Zachary Pereira (Rahway, NJ/St. Benedict’s) led Monmouth with two shots apiece. Pereira’s second shot, which came in the 108th minute, was on an open net, but a Hartford defender streaked across to block it.
The Hawks return home to face Colgate on Sunday night. Kickoff from Hesse Field on The Great Lawn is scheduled for 7 p.m. on ESPN3.