WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Senior goalkeeper Alex Blackburn (Natick, Mass./Natick) made seven saves, including a stop on a penalty kick in the 107th minute as the Monmouth University men’s soccer team remained unbeaten with a 1-1 tie against Hofstra on a rainy Sunday night on The Great Lawn. With the tie, the Hawks move to 3-0-1 on the season, while the Pride also remains unbeaten at 2-0-1.
“It was either I make the save or we lose,” said Blackburn. “So I just wanted to step up big for my team. We had a PK earlier in the season and I didn’t get to it, so I was a little sour about that. I was trying my best to read which direction he was going off his planting foot. I wanted to make sure whichever side I was diving to, I was getting there, whether it was top corner or low. But I left just a little bit early and got to it.”
The Hawks wasted little time, getting on the board in the third minute. Ryan Clark (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township) played the ball wide to Edney Derrick (Kumasi, Ghana/KNUST University) down the far sideline, before Derrick played a cross in front to set up Rubinstein’s header past Pride goalie Roberto Pellegrini.
In the 29th minute, the Pride drew even on Chris Griebsch’s tally. Maid Memic played the ball wide to the goal line before Mike Annarumma’s cross found Griebsch, who beat Blackburn inside the far post.
Both teams created chances in the second overtime. Matt Beverin (Glen Rock, N.J./Glen Rock) beat his defender into the box, before leaving it behind for Derrick. But the junior striker missed high above the crossbar. Less than a minute later, Griebsch’s strike with 3:31 showing on the game clock struck the cross bar. Following a foul inside the 18-yard box 11 seconds later, Griebsch set up for a potential penalty kick golden goal. But Blackburn guessed right, diving left to knock the shot wide and preserve the tie.
For the game, the Pride outshot the Hawks, 21-13, while taking a 10-6 edge in corner kicks. Blackburn made seven saves, while his counterpart Pellegrini made two saves.
Monmouth returns to action Saturday, when it welcomes Columbia to The Great Lawn. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. under the lights.