Bucknell Men's Soccer Hands Monmouth a Rare Home Loss, 2-0
Sept. 18, 2011
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. -- Mayowa Alli (Lanham, Md./Bishop McNamara) headed in two goals off Joe Meyer (Sykesville, Md./McDonogh) corner kicks just seven minutes apart in the first half, leading Bucknell to a 2-0 road victory over a very good Monmouth team on Sunday at The Great Lawn. Playing a team that has appeared in the national rankings for the third time in the last two weekends, the Bison improved to 4-3 on the season while handing Monmouth (4-2) only its fourth home loss in the last four years.
Bison head coach Brendan Nash, a native of nearby Neptune, N.J., brought his team home to face a Monmouth side that, like Bucknell, is coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournament seasons. The Hawks, who were 48-8-10 overall and 29-3-4 at home since the start of the 2008 season, have been ranked in the top five nationally in each of the last two seasons. This year, they have been ranked as high as No. 18 in the NSCAA/adidas national poll. This week Monmouth is ranked No. 24 in the Collage Soccer News Poll and is receiving votes in the NSCAA rankings.
Last weekend Bucknell came up just a goal short in narrow losses to No. 10 Indiana and No. 17 Notre Dame, and after blanking Saint Joseph's 1-0 on the road on Friday night, the Bison took down Monmouth thanks to some tough defending and two more acrobatic goals from Alli.
The reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Year now has a team-high five goals in seven games this season. On Sunday he broke up a scoreless tie at the 35:14 mark when he skied to nod home Meyer's corner kick. Just 6:54 later, the pair pulled off a nearly identical play, with Alli going up high again to make it 2-0.
That was all the Bison needed, as they held Monmouth to just 11 total shots, only three of which were on frame. Goalkeeper Tommy Caso (Phoenix, Md./McDonogh) turned aside all three of those for his second straight shutout. His best save came with about 27 minutes left when he ranged far to tip a shot from Anthony Vazquez over the bar. It was Caso's 16th career clean sheet, moving him into sole possession of fifth on Bucknell's career list.
Senior Andrew Powell (Charlton, Mass./St. John's), returning to form after coming back from injury just a week ago, spearheaded the strong defensive effort along with Alli, Nader Sawtarie (Bethany, W.Va./Linsly School) and Jermaine Jarrett (Kingston, Jamaica/Hotchkiss School).
Nash called it an "all-around team victory," as he went five deep off the bench and got strong play from junior Josh Plump (Millburn, N.J./Millburn), sophomore Josh Butzke (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y./Comsewogue) and freshmen Pat Plourde (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern), John Miller (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet Regional) and Jonathan Grad (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Latin).
Bucknell outshot Monmouth 7-3 in the first half, but Monmouth had an 8-0 shot advantage in the second half. Bucknell led 4-3 in corner kicks, while both keepers were credited with three saves.
The Bison have one more road tuneup before starting league play. They travel to Drexel on Wednesday night at 7 p.m., and then Patriot League contender Lehigh comes to Emmitt Field for the conference opener on Saturday at 4 p.m.