Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

Providence Down Monmouth Hawks 3-1 in Long Branch

On Sept. 5, the Monmouth University Hawks faced the Providence Black Friars at Hesse field in West Long Branch, New Jersey for another tune-up. The home side came into this match sporting a 4-1 record and looking to bounce back from their first loss which came against Rutgers University two days earlier.

Before Dr. Krissy Turner's team lost to the 16th-ranked team in the nation last week, Monmouth had won four straight games. The Hawks leading goal scorer coming in, Lauren Karabin had scored four goals in five games and was looking to keep that momentum going against the Friars. In the fifth minute, Monmouth jumped out in front of the visitors.

The Hawks drew first blood in the match thanks to a skillful, long ball that Sarina Jones played ahead for Karabin who shot in the opposite direction of where the goalkeeper was to give her team a 1-0 lead.

The Hawks goalkeeper would be busy after they took the lead, as the Black Friars started to rev their engines. The Friars began their offensive with two corner kicks, taken by Esther Ronn. Ronn curled both into the center of Monmouth's box, one low and the second high, but both were cleared by Hawks players.

In the middle of the first half, it was the Sarina Jones show. The graduate student used her skill with the ball in possession to dribble all the way from midfield to Black Friar’s box at one point but was stripped just as she got through to the box.

Halfway through the first half, Providence made three substitutions, including defender Vifhuizen for Chloe Ortolano, while Ludwick replaced Bruno on defense for Monmouth.

Winslow was adept at stopping the many shots that Providence had during the first half, including a stop against big defender Avery Snead in the 26th minute. Five minutes later, Providence took the lead on Kenney’s shot into the bottom right corner.

The Black Friar's had shifted momentum in their favor, after falling prey to an early counter-attack that was finished off by Monmouth's leading goal scorer. Karabin's tally was all Monmouth had to show for an exciting first half, but the Hawks were far from out of the game, even though they were down 2-1.

Second Half Action Heats Up

The Black Friar’s head coach could be heard loudly yelling instructions at his players throughout the match. The visiting team got a boost when their coach made five subs, which included defender Ortolano and Hughes, after he took both of them off ten minutes before the half.

In the 50th minute, Gillian made a low cross that rolled right in front of Monmouth’s goal and took a few deflections before being tapped home by red hot Hughes. Once Providence took a 3-1 lead, the game became physical, with both teams trading tackles in the midfield. As soon as the Hawks’ goal scorer, Karabin or Jones tried to take a full head of steam into Providence’s half, the Black Friars would close in on Monmouth's outstanding forwards and make sure they did not have time or space to create.

In the 70th minute, Hawks head coach Dr. Krissy Turner made several substitutions, trying to bring on fresh legs. Karabin could be seen hunting down opponents in Providence's half. She used her low center of gravity to bump against a black friar and win the ball with her feet, but her work was undone when a foul was called to the displeasure of the good crowd that turned out.

When there was ten minutes left to go in the game, a Hawk defender blasted the ball out of her own box and connected at the same time with a visiting player. That visitor, Gillian crashed to the ground and the Providence medical staff ran out to attend to her, helping her off the field. Monmouth ended up talomg a 3-1 loss at Hesse field against a good defensive team. Last year's Big East Freshman of the Year, Meg Hughes sunk the home team's ship with two goals, although the Hawks took a 1-0 lead in the 3rd minute.

Hawks Postgame Reactions

After the game, I was able to catch up with Lauren Karabin, who opened the scoring for Monmouth. She was both friendly and very intelligent when it came to describing how the goal happened.

“The first goal was big because it’s a play we’ve been working on a lot during training,” Karabin said. "It felt good to put it all together. When I had the ball, I [told myself to] just stay calm and finish it.”

Karabin is a senior and has been a part of some great Monmouth University squads. The 2019 team went 10-0 in Conference play and won a MAAC Championship, which Karabin, Jones and Coach Turner were a part of. The Hawks senior leader was able to describe the relationship she has with Sarina Jones, who is also one of the more experience players on this team.

“I feel like we we’re all on the same page. Sarina knows I like to look for that long pass in behind the defense, we made eye contact and [her pass] was perfect.”

As far as Monmouth's opponent is concerned, the 2020-21 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year scored a brace and really overpowered Monmouth's defense. Monmouth's defense was unable to stop the stocky forward from getting in the right position right in front of goal on Providence's third goal, which effectively put the game out of reach, so here is what Monmouth's only goal-scorer on the day said about what Providence did to them.

Monmouth women's soccer boss, Dr. Turner had this to say about how her team

“I think it has to be consistent for 90 minutes, we have one last game against Harvard who’s a really good team, we’ll have our work cut out for us. We’ll see if we can use this week to work on our game-- the girls have been working real hard and be ready for Harvard on Sunday.

Monmouth University women's soccer will have a whole week of training before their next match. Their last game before MAAC conference play kicks off is next Sunday at home against Harvard University at 1:00 PM.

Anthony Paradiso
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