Oct. 13, 2009

Courtesy of Monmouth

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - The Monmouth University men's soccer team continues to climb up the NSCAA/adidas National Rankings, coming in at #8 this week, the organization released on Tuesday. The Hawks, at 11-0-1, are one of only three unbeaten teams in the Top-25 this week, along with #1 Akron (11-0-0) and #15 Brown (6-0-4). MU and the Zips are the only clubs in the Top-25 with 11 wins each so far this season.

Monmouth has steadily risen in the NSCAA/adidas National Rankings since the third week of the season, debuting at #24 on September 11. From there, MU moved up to #19 the following week and then #14 during the end of September before landing at 10th two weeks ago. The Blue and White's #8 national ranking is the highest national mark of any program in Monmouth University history.

The Hawks, currently 11-0-1 overall and 3-0-1, are currently riding a program-best 12 match unbeaten streak. MU has outscored its opposition by a 21-3 margin this year, including 11-1 in the first half of matches. The Hawks also have taken twice as many shots as their opponents (178-89) and also have more than a 2-1 advantage on corner kicks this season (78-34).

MU is also ranked atop the NSCAA/adidias North Atlantic Regional Rankings, where they have been all season. The Hawks also come in this week ranked 11th by Top Drawer Soccer, College Soccer News and Soccer America.

At the heart of the Blue and White's success has been a stingy defense that ranks second in the nation in three statistical categories. MU ranks second in the country in team goals against average (0.25 GAA), shutout percentage (75%) and save percentage (90.9%). Blue and White keeper Bryan Meredith (Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch Plains-Fanwood) ranks third in the nation in GAA, allowing 0.245 tallies per match, and fourth in Division I in save percentage, stopping 90.1% of the opponents shots.

MU's solid defense is nothing new, in fact since 2004, when McCourt took over the program, the Hawks have 55 shutouts. Monmouth is currently on a six-match shutout streak, which compasses the last 579:15 of game time. Last season, they had a 650 minute scoreless streak over six shutouts and part of another contest. The program record for consecutive shutouts is seven, set in 2006. MU's one goal allowed over its last nine matches is a program-best, as well as its three goals allowed thru the season's first 12 matches.

This week the Hawks visit Bryant on Friday for a 3:00 pm match.