WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.- Monmouth University (7-7, 4-1 MAAC) recorded its fourth league victory of the year with an 11-6 victory over Iona (2-11, 1-5 MAAC) Wednesday afternoon at Monmouth Stadium.
The Hawks overcame an early 2-0 deficit and outscored the Gaels 8-1 over a 30 minute stretch of the game to earn the victory. Freshman Alexandra Stambaugh (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East) had a career-high three goals while junior goaltender Katie Donohoe (Peterborough, Ontario/Holy Cross Secondary School) made 10 saves, including nine second half stops between the pipes.
“More than anything it was great to see our team step up every time they came at us,” said Denise Wescott. “We answered goals, stopped their drives, got steals or Katie made the save. We made big plays right when we needed to in order to keep them off the scoreboard. She made big plays, ran off some cards and even when she got stripped she was composed getting back to the cage and making sure they didn’t score. The younger players have just gotten used to their roles around the crease, and how we run our offenses. We thought our freshmen could be quicker with their steps and beat them to the crease and Alex did that very well today.”
Iona shot out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of quick goals in the first 3:20 of the game but juniors Allison Stathius (Delran, N.J./Delran) and Emily Barbieri (Parsippany, N.J./DePaul Catholic) each tallied the first of their two goals on the day to tied it up with 20:40 to play. Stambaugh put the Hawks up 3-2 but Iona’s Casey Palmer knotted the game up with 15:44 to play in the first. From there on it was all Hawks as Monmouth scored three straight, including two from freshman Olivia Higson () , to close out the opening half with a 6-3 lead.
Monmouth expanded its lead to 8-3 with Stathius and Barbieri goals before Bernadette Gennaro scored her first of three second half goals for Iona. Stambaugh scored with 12:18 to play to push the MU lead to 9-4 but Gennnaro rattled off a pair of scores within 24 seconds of each other and the Hawks led by three. Stambaugh and fellow freshman Julia Schrof (Forest Hill, Md./North Harford) each tallied a goal in the final 10:52 to finish the scoring at 11-6.
In addition to the 10 saves, Donohoe had four ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers. Stathius had five draw controls to go with her two goals while senior defender Kelly Dalton (Ellicott City, Md./Mount DeSales) had two of the Hawk’s eight caused turnovers. Senior Kaleigh Gibbons (Candia, N.H./Central/RMU) had a goal and an assist in the win.
Iona’s Maria Ortiz made eight saves in net for the Gaels as Monmouth outshot Iona 26-20 in the match. Each team registered 17 turnovers in the contest while the Gaels held a 11-8 advantage in draw controls.
Monmouth heads up to Buffalo for a Saturday morning tilt with defending conference champions Canisius at 11 a.m.