WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Senior forward Dom Sarle (Huntington, N.Y./Bradenton Prep) scored the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute as the Monmouth University men’s soccer team defeated hOURglass rival Rider, 1-0, on Senior Day Wednesday night at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn. With the win, the Hawks improve to 7-3-5 (3-1-4 MAAC), while the loss drops Rider out of a first-place tie in the MAAC at 8-6-2 (5-4-0 MAAC).
Sarle’s game-winning goal was scored off a double assist from Derek Luke (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) and Matt Jeffery (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township). Luke’s corner first found Jeffery’s head near the top of the box. Jeffery headed the ball downward toward the middle of the box, where Sarle hit it on one touch out of midair inside the left post in the 83rd minute.
Monmouth goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky (Lincoln Park, N.J./DePaul Catholic) and the Hawks’ defense posted their 10th clean sheet of the season in the victory. Klenofsky secured four saves in the shutout. Rider’s David Pastuna made one save in defeat.
For the game, the Hawks edged the Broncs, 13-12, in shots while taking a decided 10-4 advantage in corners.
Monmouth took an 8-5 edge in shots and a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks in the first half. Just over nine minutes into the game, the Hawks managed four straight corner kicks, but were turned away. David Acuna Camacho (Heredia, Costa Rica/Costa Rica Youth National Team) had a shot pushed over the crossbar by Pastuna while Dave Nigro’s (Marlboro, N.J./Marlboro) header went wide in the flurry.
The Hawks’ next solid chance came in the 21st minute, when Nigro sent a rocket that seemed ticketed for the back of the net, but a Rider back blocked it. In the 31st minute, Rider developed its best chance of the game, connecting several passes to get Christian Flath free, one-on-one with Klenofsky 15 yards from the goal line. But Flath’s shot sailed well high.
Rider developed chances in the 62nd and 63rd minutes, but Flath’s shot was blocked before Zach Bond sent a shot wide. Luke shot high in the 66th minute, before Florian Valot’s header in the 67th minute went wide. Luke sent another shot toward the net in the 74th minute, but it went wide into the outside of the net.
Flath shot wide to begin the 81st minute, before the Hawks countered with a Luke shot that was blocked out of bounds in the 82nd minute to provide Monmouth with the decisive set piece. Sarle scored his fifth goal of the season off the Luke and Jeffery assists.
Rider pushed forward in the final seven-plus minutes, forcing Klenofsky to make three saves. Adrien Huss put a shot on the sophomore goalkeeper in the 84th minute, Flath forced a save in the 86th minute and Justin Veltri put a shot on net at the 89-minute mark, but Klenofsky was equal to the task each time to preserve the shutout.
The Hawks return to action Saturday, when they travel to Siena. Kickoff from Loudonville, N.Y., is scheduled for 1 p.m. The game is critical to MAAC standings as the two teams enter the match tied at 13 points.