Harrison, NJ – Paige Monaghan can feel the love.
Returning to the Red Bull Arena for the first time since being traded in January, Monaghan received a standing ovation. Her Racing Louisville teammates, not so much.
Hosts Gotham and Racing played to a goalless draw in the first regular-season match in the Women’s National Soccer League after the Challenge Cup and Women’s World Cup.
Monaghan was the only Racing player to cheer when the starting line-up was announced on Sunday. I played three seasons with Gotham She drafted her tenth overall Graduated from Butler University in 2019.
“Being back in New Jersey means a lot to me,” said Monaghan, who admitted she didn’t eat Taylor’s bacon and cheese toast. “There’s a lot of growth that Sky Blue and Gotham have given me, so I’m really grateful for that. It was great to see the number of people on the field cheering for Gotham, cheering for the NFL, cheering the players up.”
Monaghan played 72 minutes on Sunday. She has four goals and two assists, both career highs, in all competitions with Racing.
Louisville (4-4-8) has scored just one goal in its last four games, and hasn’t won since July 21.
“There are some guys who show up, and I tell those bad guys not to say anything negative,” Aaron Forestie of Oakland, who is part of Batcave in Section 109, joked. “We absolutely love Paige. She’s an amazing player. So was I.” Sadly we lost her.”
former Each player daily record for the yearMonaghan started playing football at the age of four. She scored a school record 29 goals as Roxbury. He shared the Morris County championship title and won NJSIAA North 2, Group III in its senior season. Monaghan also set the goalscoring record with 79 goals.
Monaghan scored 22 goals and had 18 assists in 80 games (73 starts) at Butler. She scored her first two professional goals on August 14, 2020 NWSL Player of the Week. The next day, Monaghan was called up to the USWNT U-23 squad for the 2019 North Cup in England.
Monaghan scored 10 goals and three assists in four years with Gotham, including against Louisville last season. Although much of her family was present at her cousin Riley Freund’s wedding in Pennsylvania, Monaghan received encouraging text messages from family and friends, “Everyone loves and supports me.”
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“It’s very strange to think of,” said Isabella Contreras, a sophomore at Roxbury High School who wrote Monaghan’s Number 5 in purple on the inside of her left forearm.
“When you see footballers, like Alex Morgan, it’s very cool. But it’s not from my city. It’s very cool that I did the same things as [Paige.] I did what you did.”
A trendsetter on and off the field
Contreras had a purple tie in her hair as a tribute to Monaghan, who accidentally coined the lavender-tinged rallying cry of the season, “Go to the big Purp!”
Years ago, Kristen Monaghan gave Paige a pink hair tie to prevent her dark, wavy hair. The family agreed it was easier to spot than looking up the shirt number. Gotham City midfielder Elizabeth Eddy also wore one, and the “pink tie power” became a rallying cry among fans.
“It was amazing. New Jersey has a special place in my heart,” said Monaghan, who hugged several of her former teammates after the final whistle. “Just to see how much I’ve grown over the years, from my first year until now, I’m so proud of myself, so grateful to my family and friends who continue to support and love me from afar.”
The hair tie trend may have extended to the United States women’s national team. Midfielder Savannah Demelo, who also plays for Racing, wore a pink tie in the Women’s World Cup match against the Netherlands on July 26.
DeMelo was white tie Sunday, matching Racing’s road jerseys. But Louisville midfielder Rebecca Holloway kept the pink tradition going when she entered in the 87th minute.
Howell’s Erica Fonseca heard the story behind Monaghan’s hair tie, and bought her a set of 20 in early September 2022. After the match, Monaghan pulled the pink hair tie from her hair and gave it to a girl in the stands wearing one. jerseys.
“Gotham fans don’t focus on themselves,” Fonseca said. “Her return was welcomed with open arms. It was really nice.”
This article originally appeared on the Morristown Daily Record: NJ Soccer: Paige Monaghan Roxbury Racing Louisville Gotham NWSL