Defense aims to build off strong performance as MSOC hosts tough Monmouth

Amanda Boyer/Photography Editor

The Seton Hall men’s soccer team will welcome the Monmouth Hawks to Owen T. Carroll Field as the Pirates close out their longest home stand of the season on Tuesday.

Coming off a scoreless draw against the now 6-0-1, 18th-ranked George Mason Patriots, the Pirates will look for sophomore goalkeeper Julian Spindler to stay on a roll. Spindler had a career-high four saves against a Creighton attack that came in averaging 2.60 goals per game. As a result, the German was on the Big East Weekly Honor Roll.

The Pirates (1-2-1) will face a Hawks squad that stands at 4-1-1.

“We have to win,” senior captain Bolu Akinyode said. “I think we defended really well as a group against George Mason and I think if we can keep that mindset going into Monmouth, we can go out there and get a result.”

On top of averaging 2.17 goals per game with senior Dom Sarle leading the way with four and two assists of his own, Monmouth’s defense is coming off a strong week. The Hawks earned their first win over Rutgers ever last week in a 3-0 shutout. Sophomore goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky was named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Week. This is the fifth time that he has received the honor after also holding Villanova to a goal and compiling six saves. His 0.63 goals against average is something to watch for as well.

Last year when these two teams met, the Pirates and Hawks played to a double overtime 1-1 tie. Monmouth has controlled the series as of late, taking three of their past five.

As for the Hall, sophomore midfielder Sam Geiler and senior midfielder Kai Greene have both continued to be the main offensive initiators. Greene is second on the team to senior Victor Manosalvas in goals and points. The two have combined for seven of the nine goals scored by the blue and white this season.

With a four-game road swing coming that features the conference opener at DePaul on Saturday, Akinyode knows how important a win could be.

“We were able to get a nice result against Mason, but we know that we have to start moving up in the win column,” the senior said,

Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Owen T. Carroll Field.

John Fanta can be reached at john.fanta@student.shu.edu or on Twitter @John_Fanta.

Author: John Fanta

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