After trying week, Monmouth comes up short
After a tumultuous week during which Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc across the state, the Hawks were able to reach the Northeast Conference final Saturday despite not being able to practice in the lead up to the tournament.
Monmouth beat St. Francis (Pa.), 3-1, in the semifinal before falling to Rider, 3-2, in the championship game. It was the Hawks’ third straight loss to the Broncs in the title contest.
“It was challenging,” said coach Carli Figlio when asked about her team’s week. “At the end of the day, once we got the 20 girls on the bus, we had some laughs. We were a little stir crazy from being inside, but it was great to be outside and moving around with everybody together.”
The school’s Multipurpose Athletic Center was being used as a shelter this week for people displaced by the storm. The university canceled classes the entire week and they won’t resume until Wednesday.
The men’s basketball team bused up to Scranton, Pa., to use a facility there so it could practice in preparation for the Nov. 9 season opener at home against Hofstra.
A school representative said that game is still scheduled to be played as planned.
The field hockey team dispersed throughout the state before gathering back together on Wednesday.
They stayed in a hotel this weekend instead of commuting back to West Long Branch in between games on Friday and Saturday.
“We were all over the place,” Figlio said. “We got out of dodge. Safety was the first issue, making sure kids were at their parents’ home and our international kids were in safe places. We were able to get back together a couple days before we came here which was great.”
On Saturday, the Hawks nearly pulled the upset.
Goals by Amanda Schoenfeld and Alex Carroll gave them a 2-1 lead before Rider rallied behind two Sandra Penas tallies.
“Not just for the win and what it means, but because the kids work so hard,” Figlio said when asked if it was frustrating to lose three straight finals to the Broncs.
“The group of girls we have, we’ve been through it all this year,” Figlio said. “The beginning of the year was tough, and they stayed resilient and that is a testament to their character. I’d rather have 20 girls with character and heart that can show you what they are all about when they face adversity.”