September 22, 2011
COOL HAND LUKE
Freshman lifts Monmouth over Columbia
NEW YORK – Freshman Derek Luke scored his first career goal off an assist from senior RJ Allen in the 18th minute as the Monmouth University men’s soccer team shut out Columbia, 1-0, at Columbia Soccer Stadium on Thursday night.
“This was a big win on the road against a good team,” Monmouth coach Robert McCourt said. “We created some good chances and defended well when we needed to.”
Luke (Bridgewater, N.J.) got the Hawks (5-2-0) on the board at 17:10. Allen (Old Bridge, N.J.) sent a ball over the top of the Columbia (3-4-1) defense, finding Luke at the far post. The freshman took one touch to beat goalkeeper Alexander Aurrichio.
Luke became the eighth player to score Monmouth’s eight goals this season. Allen has figured in the scoring in all five of the Hawks’ wins, including four 1-0 results.
Junior goalkeeper Alex Blackburn (Natick, Mass.) and the Hawks’ defense compiled its fifth clean sheet in seven games. Blackburn tied his season-high with four saves, including two highlight-reel stops in the second half.
In the 52nd minute, Columbia’s David Najem connected on a shot off a Lions corner, but Blackburn was equal to the task. In the 84th minute, Blackburn stoned Kofi Agyapong with a diving save of the Columbia forward’s free kick from just outside the 18-yard box. In total, Blackburn made four saves.
The Hawks host to Princeton on The Great Lawn at 1 p.m. on Sunday.