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Men’s soccer cruises to 4–1 win over Monmouth in Garden State clash

A man wearing orange shorts and an orange jersey jogging on a soccer field.
Senior forward Walker Gillespie scored his first goal of the season on Tuesday evening
Courtesy of

On another rainy New Jersey evening, men’s soccer (3–3–0 overall, 0–1–0 Ivy League) were able to rebound after a tough loss to Dartmouth with a comfortable win against the Monmouth Hawks (4–2–3, 1–0–2 Colonial). The short trip east to West Long Branch was well worth it for the Tigers, as they shot out to a 2–0 lead by halftime and quelled the Hawks’ comeback attempt out of the break with two more late goals.

Princeton’s offensive attack began with four shots on goal in the first 18 minutes, all of which were saved by Monmouth goalie Eryk Dymora. However, they were able to break through after senior forward Walker Gillespie knocked in his first goal of the season off of an assist from sophomore forward Daniel Ittycheria in the 28th minute. Less than 10 minutes later, sophomore forward Will Francis added on by putting his first goal of the season in the top left corner to double the lead, and the Tigers would head to halftime up two goals.

Monmouth would come out of halftime looking to bring the game back within reach. Hawks forward Ben Zakowski, assisted by midfielder Erik Reis, did just that with a quick goal in the 54th minute. This kicked off a rougher second half that saw the two sides exchanging shots with four yellow cards, the last of which from Monmouth led to a Princeton penalty kick goal by junior forward Nico Nee in the 80th minute. 

Nee would stay perfect from the spot to give the Tigers some insurance, and just three minutes later Ittycheria, assisted by Nee, took a leaping header from a corner kick to put the score where it would remain at 4–1. It was Ittcheria's fourth goal in three games.

“Every game, I’ve tried my best to keep staying confident in my abilities but at the same time staying humble because I have not done anything yet,” he told The Daily Princetonian. “I’ve had so much fun these past few games, and I think it’s shown on the field.”

It was very much a team win for Princeton, with four different players scoring a goal and three different players notching an assist, as well as junior goalkeeper Will Watson picking up six saves in his season debut. 

Head Coach Jim Barlow '91 praised the team’s effort throughout the match.

“The loss to Dartmouth hit really hard and the guys regrouped and were on a mission today,” Barlow said. “The energy and the chasing and the defending up the field really helped us a great deal.”

The matchup between the New Jersey neighbors was the first since 2019, and there will likely be more games in the future between the two sides.

“In these New Jersey rivalries, all the teams are really good and competitive and it’s a lot of fun,” Barlow added. 

The win was a much-needed one for the Tigers, as they will look to pick up their first Ivy League win of the season when they travel to New Haven on Sept. 30 to take on the Yale Bulldogs (4–3–1, 0–0–1 Ivy). Kick-off will be at 7 p.m. with streaming available on ESPN+. 

Tate Hutchins is a contributor to the Sports section for the ‘Prince.’

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