WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Anderson Asiedu (Dormaa Ahenkro, Ghana/St. Benedict’s), Miguel Alves (Newark, NJ/St. Benedict’s) and Andrew Gee (Cranford, NJ/Cranford) all found the back of the net as the Monmouth University men’s soccer team defeated Villanova, 3-1, Saturday night at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn. With the win, the Hawks improve to 2-3-0, while the Wildcats, who entered the match undefeated and ranked No. 25 in the country in the Top Drawer Soccer National Rankings and receiving votes in the NSCAA National Poll, fall to 3-1-0.
“Villanova’s ranked 25th in the country and they’re a really good team,” said Monmouth Head Coach Robert McCourt. “I thought we deserved to win tonight. We’ve been talking about getting 90 minutes of a full game in for our guys and we put in a 90-minute shift tonight. The guys are tired, but that’s what it takes to win big games, so I’m really proud of them.”
The Hawks controlled the early going and finally broke through in the 36th minute, as Asiedu tallied his first collegiate goal in the 36th minute. The freshman maneuvered to the top-right of the 18-yard box before firing low inside the left post past Villanova goalkeeper Will Steiner to stake the Hawks to a 1-0 lead.
Villanova countered less than four minutes later as Andreas Bartosinski collected the ball 25 yards out, directly atop the 18-yard box off a blocked shot and fired inside the right post for the equalizer.
Monmouth again came out with energy early in the second half and Alves capitalized on a free kick just outside the box. The junior midfielder curled the shot over the wall and inside the near post to beat Steiner.
In the 54th minute, the Wildcats created a flurry of shots in front of the Hawks’ net, but Monmouth goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky (Lincoln Park, NJ/DePaul Catholic) turned two away to preserve the lead.
Monmouth kept the pressure on, with Colin Stripling (Scotch Plains, NJ/Scotch Plains-Fanwood) getting in free for a header in front in the 71st minute, but Steiner was positioned perfectly for the save.
Just minutes after checking into the game, Gee collected a John Egan (Smithtown, NY/Hauppauge) thru ball ahead of the pack into the right side of the box before curling a shot inside the far post to give the Hawks some insurance.
For the game, Villanova took a 16-13 edge in shots, while Monmouth took nine corner kicks to the Wildcats’ four. Klenofsky made a career-high seven saves in the victory, while Steiner collected three saves.
The Hawks return to action Wednesday, when they play host to intrastate rival Rutgers. Kickoff from Hesse Field is scheduled for 7 p.m. on ESPN3.