FIELD HOCKEY DOWNS FAIRFIELD, 3-2, IN DOUBLE OT TO CLAIM MAAC CROWN
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Sophomore Georgia Garden Bachop (Dunedin, New Zealand/Queen Margaret) tied the game with 10 seconds left in regulation and senior Alyssa Ercolino (West Long Branch, NJ/Shore Regional) deflected in a shot 3:48 into the second overtime period to propel the Monmouth University Field Hockey team to a 3-2 victory over Fairfield in the 2016 MAAC Championship game, Sunday morning on So Sweet A Cat Field.
The Hawks (17-2), winners of 10-straight, advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in the three years, while the Stags’ season comes to a close at 8-13.
Trailing 2-1 with less than 30 seconds left, the Hawks were awarded a penalty corner. Ercolino inserted to the top of the circle to Meg Donahue (Wyomissing, PA/Berks Catholic) who stopped it and set up a big shot from Julie Laszlo (Rotterdam, Netherlands/Rotterdams Montessori Lyceum) which was tipped by Garden Bachop to force the overtime sessions.
Fairfield’s defense weathered five corner chances and a pair of shots in the first overtime, setting up the second extra 15-minutes. Monmouth, playing a player down via a yellow card, set up a corner play with Laszlo on the top of the circle and Kelly Hanna (Seaville, NJ/Ocean City [Rutgers]) out wide. Ercolino set the ball to Laszlo, who swept it toward cage which was deflected into the netting to send the Hawks to the NCAA Tournament.
The two sides played to a scoreless opening 44 minutes before the Hawks got the scoring started with Laszlo’s shot inside the far post on a corner in the 45th minute. Following a timeout, Fairfield scored twice in a span of 1:05 with 20 minutes left in regulation.
Junior Christen Piersanti (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) made one save for her 17th win of the season, while her counterpart Caitlin Bennett turned away 12 Monmouth shots in defeat.
Casey Hanna (Seaville, NJ/Ocean City) was named the MAAC Championships Most Valuable Player, while Laszlo, Ercolino and Kelly Hanna were added to the All-Tournament Team.
NOTES & QUOTES
“We talked about it in the locker room earlier today and we said that champions are not made on championship game day. They were made in the moments, the hours, the weeks, the months and the years leading up to this game. Today was about execution and working for each other and the way we finished showed that we had tremendous heart. I could not be more proud of the effort and the energy that was put forth all weekend long.” – Head Coach Carli Figlio
- The Hawks are now 2-0 in MAAC Championships games.
- Monmouth will make its second NCAA appearance all-time.
- The Hawks played in back-to-back overtime affairs for the first time since 2009. The team has
never played consecutive double overtime games in its history.
- The Hawks are now 1-1 against Fairfield in the MAAC Championships.
- Garden Bachop notches her third goal of the season, her first since October 9th at LIU Brooklyn.
- Laszlo finished the game with four points on a goal and two assists.
- Ercolino’s goal, her 13 of the season, is her team-leading fifth game-winner of the year.
- Piersanti notched her 37th career victory in cage.
- For the game, Monmouth outshot Fairfield, 24-4, including 6-0 in the overtime periods.
- The Hawks earned 11 penalty corners compared to six for the Stags.
- Laszlo led the team with six shots, all on cage, while Donahue recorded five attempts.
Monmouth will find out its NCAA opponent at 10 p.m. Sunday night. The selection show will be aired on NCAA.com.