Madie Gibson is one of several attacking weapons Monmouth has. (Photo courtesy of Monmouth SID)
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – The top-seeded Monmouth University women open play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament when they host No. 6 Niagara University in the semifinals at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn Thursday at 5 p.m.
Niagara advanced to the semifinal round following its 2-1 victory over Rider University Sunday. By virtue of its MAAC-record seventh consecutive regular season title, Monmouth earned the top seed in the postseason and an automatic berth in the semifinal round.
Monmouth enters the postseason on an 11-game winning streak, tying the program’s longest winning streak under head coach Krissy Turner, set last season, and the longest winning streak since the program won 17 straight games spanning the 1994 and 1995 seasons.
The Hawks have outscored their opponents, 36-2, during the winning streak. The streak is the second-longest active winning streak in the NCAA behind Stanford University’s 12-game streak.
The Hawks have 10 players with at least five points. Senior midfielder Lexie Palladino leads the team with 18 points on the strength of eight goals and two assists. Redshirt senior Madie Gibson has six goals and five assists, while Dana Scheriff has five goals and two assists. Midfielders Jill Conklin and Maddison Perna each contributed three goals.
Gibson ranks fifth in Monmouth history with 97 career points. She has 33 goals and 31 assists and has started all 79 games. Gibson needs six points to move into a tie for fourth on Monmouth’s all-time points list.
Defensively, Monmouth has allowed four goals in 16 matches and has a 0.24 goals-against average as the Hawks lead the nation in that category. Goalkeeper Amanda Knaub leads the NCAA in shutouts with 12. Her GAA ranks third in the NCAA at 0.24. She also is fifth in the country in save percentage .902.
The tournment schedule
Thursday – 5 p.m. – No. 1 Monmouth (12-2-2) vs. No. 6 Niagara (9-7-2) – ESPN+
Thursday – 7 p.m. – No. 2 Fairfield (10-5-3) vs. No. 5 Quinnipiac (10-7-1)
Sunday – 4 p.m. – Championship match