WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Monmouth University junior Nicole Close notched her third tally of the season in the 69th minute, which proved to be the game-winner in the Hawks' 1-0 victory over Columbia University in non-conference women's soccer action on Sunday afternoon. The Hawks, who have now won eight of its last nine matches, improved to 8-4 on the year.
"We battled hard today," said head coach Krissy Turner, as the Hawks competed in their fourth game in eight days. "We earned a good result today."
Monmouth nearly broke the scoreless tie in the opening moments of the second half as Dana Costello's breakaway attempt hit the near post, but the Hawks got on the board at 68:20 for the 1-0 lead. Following a foul, junior Stacy Kadell lifted a free kick into the box, which was played by sophomore Monique Plescia back to a streaking Close, whose one-timer beat CU goalkeeper Jourdan Sayers at the far post.
The Hawks missed an opportunity to double their lead with 1:35 on the clock when Costello was taken down in the box for a penalty kick chance, but Sayers pushed aside Close's attempt to keep the Lions within a lone score.
Columbia held an 8-7 edge in shots in the match, and a 4-1 lead in corner kick opportunities.
Freshman Jocelyn McCoy, who made three saves, registered her fifth victory on the year, and her fourth clean sheet for the Hawks. Sayers made a pair of saves for the Lions (4-8).
Monmouth returns to action on Friday when the Hawks travel to Loretto, Pa., for a Northeast Conference match at defending league champion Saint Francis (Pa.) at 3:00 p.m.