Pirates upset nationally ranked opponent
One goal off the foot of junior captain Max Garcia was all the Pirates needed to upset 19th ranked Monmouth University and deliver the Hawks their first loss on the season.
Garcia scored his fourth goal of the season in the 18th minute on an assist from junior forward George Velasquez.
After a rough tournament at Old Dominion, the Pirates were able to bounce back at home and shut out Monmouth Friday night.
“This game shows how much character this team has,” junior goalkeeper Kevin Bonder said. “We came back from ODU to practice and worked on our defensive shape. I think it really showed between Julian (Kennedy), Matseuz (Brela) and I keeping it tight in the back and doing a lot of talking.”
Despite pressure in the late minutes of the game, the Pirates kept Monmouth off the scoreboard due to a great defensive effort.
“I think they were pushing and getting really desperate,” Bonder said. “We had some fouls late in the game but we handled it all well in the end.
The defensive unit for Seton Hall kept Monmouth to only two shots on goal despite the Hawks attempting 14 shots in the game.
Sophomore Matt Jeffery and junior Edney Derrick led the Hawks with shots, both having three.
A main theme of practice for the Pirates this past week was to play a team game.
“We all know we are very good individually, the main message is that we have to pull together and we did today,” Bonder said.
The Pirates had three shots on goal, not including a shot from Velasquez that rang off the right post in the 11th minute.
Seton Hall lost the overall shots battle at 14-7.
The Pirates kept focus on keeping the ball and game in their possession. “We had a lot of intensity,” Bonder said. “We didn’t want to change anything after halftime. We wanted to keep the ball, if they don’t have it, they can’t score.”
The Pirates had what appeared to be their second goal of the game in the 70th minute after a goal line scramble by sophomore Jeremy Wetherspoon, but he was called offside.
This game broke the all-time series split between these two teams; Seton Hall now leads the series 6-5-0.
The Pirates’ bring their improved 3-4 record to the University of Delaware on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for their last game before Big East conference play.
Stephanie Vedral can be reached at Stephanie.Vedral@student.shu.edu