Freshman Ben Zakowski celebrates his game-winning penalty kick. (Photo courtesy of Monmouth SID)
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – After scoring the equalizer in the 62nd minute, freshman Ben Zakowski converted the game-winning penalty kick in overtime to lift the Monmouth University men over Iona College, 2-1, in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game Wednesday night.
It was the Hawks’ (3-12-2, 3-6-1) final game of the season.
“We’ve played a lot of young guys and new guys this season,” head coach Robert McCourt said. “Tonight we found a way to win, so I was happy with that. The potential moving forward for the group is high. They showed their character tonight and I was really proud of them.”
The Gaels (11-5-1, 6-3-1) opened the scoring in the 24th minute, as midfielder Esad Mackic took a shot from just outside the 18 that found the back of the net.
Just over 15 minutes into the second half, Zakowski took a feed from junior Anes Mrkulic and fired a left-footed strike that soared to the upper left corner.
In the 98th minute, Monmouth sophomore Liam McGregor was taken down in the box and the Hawks were awarded a penalty kick.
Zakowski stepped up and placed it to the left side. He completed his first year, leading the team with seven goals, which are the most in a single season since 2010 (Ryan Kinne, 12).
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Sean Murray compiled a season-high 10 saves in the win, one off his career high.