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  • The Griffin

Despite a back and forth game, the Golden Griffins come up short against a stingy Monmouth squad

By: Connor Pohlman

In a game where defense was the primary focus for both teams, the Monmouth Hawks (5–5) managed to sneak out a win over the Canisius Golden Griffins (2–10) on Saturday at the Kessler Stadium in West Long Branch, N.J.

The teams traded goals in the opening quarter as Colin Kelly and Keegan Kozack struck for Canisius while Garrett Klurman and Connor Macrae countered for Monmouth.

The Hawks took their first lead of the game less than three minutes into the second quarter on a goal from Devin Pipher; Matt Karsian closed out the first half scoring with his third of the campaign to give the hosts a 4–2 lead at the break.

Monmouth extended its advantage in the third as Andrew Duswalt scored from distance with eight seconds remaining in the frame to make it a three-goal game.

Canisius attempted to mount a comeback in the fourth, with Kyle Brunsch and Jackson Naylor recording goals a little more than two minutes apart during the early stages of the stanza to make it a 5–4 contest.

The Hawks kept the Griffs off the scoreboard the rest of the way, while an unassisted effort from Mike McIntyre with just over five minutes to play provided some insurance as Monmouth held on for the two-goal victory.

"Our shot selection was terrible today. We did not adhere to the game plan on that, and it's obvious, because we only scored four goals, so that puts a huge burden on the defense,” head coach Mark Miyashita said. “We've got to find a way to come together as a team and play as a unit in all three phases: offense, defense and transition. We're still searching for that.”

Karsian highlighted a balanced Hawks attack that saw six different players find the back of the net in the win, as Pipher also notched multiple points, finishing with a goal and an assist. Noah Lode made 12 saves between the pipes for Monmouth. Graduate goalie Matt Vavonese finished the contest with 18 saves.

The Golden Griffins will play their final home game of the regular season on April 23 when the team welcomes Marist to the Demske Sports Complex for a matchup slated for noon. The game will serve as the program's Senior Day, with the team honoring its senior and graduate student-athletes in a ceremony prior to the start of the contest.

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