Men's soccer: Matches yield victory and defeat
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 14:10
Although the men’s soccer team dropped from the pinnacle of the University Athletic Association standings this weekend by losing 2-1 at home to Carnegie Mellon University Sunday, the team’s bid for an NCAA Division III Tournament bid is still alive.
Sitting at 15-2-1 after Sunday’s defeat, the Judges defeated Emory University 3-1 last Friday. The victory over the Eagles followed Tuesday’s 5-0 rout of Mount Ida College.
“It was really disappointing,” said coach Mike Coven about the loss to Carnegie. “We made some mistakes, we gave the ball away in our defensive half. The two goals we conceded were both because we gave the ball away.”
Right from the start of the game, Carnegie attacked the Judges, using its pace and movement to fluster the Judges’ defense.
However, it was the hosts who took the lead 14 minutes into the game. Right back Robbie Lynch ’15 set classmate Tyler Savonen ’15 free. The forward took a touch before slotting past junior goalkeeper Christopher Madden to give the Judges a 1-0 advantage.
Yet, there would be three minutes of madness towards the end of the half that gave Carnegie the upper hand. Tartans’ junior midfielder Chris Wysocki beat goalie Blake Minchoff ’13 with a shot to the far-right corner with six minutes and 16 seconds left in the half.
Then, just two minutes, 17 seconds later, junior forward Max Tassano got a massive slice of luck when his 20-yard effort hit two defenders, rooting Minchoff to the spot and finding its way into the net for a 2-1 advantage that, despite several great chances by the Judges, stood for the rest of the game.
Friday’s game was very different.
Midfielder Sam Ocel ’13 was quick to run at Emory’s defense, having two efforts saved in the opening minutes. However, despite brilliant play from Emory freshman goalie Abe Hannigan to deny the attacker on those occasions, Ocel broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute. A cross-field ball from midfielder Kyle Feather ’14 found the waiting Ocel at the back post, who made no mistake from close range to put the Judges on top with 21:17 gone.
The Eagles didn’t hang their heads, though, and had two great chances to tie it. First, a long throw-in resulted in freshman midfielder Connor Curtin heading against the crossbar, with Minchoff beaten. Minchoff then came to his team’s rescue just before the half, when he tipped over a dipping volley from sophomore midfielder Stephen Gathman that was headed in.
Ocel then gave the Judges breathing room in the second half. Just three minutes and 11 seconds after the break, forward Lee Russo ’13 took a throw-in from the right side, which caused mayhem in the Eagles’ penalty box. After the ball bounced around for a moment, Ocel was able to get his head on it and send it home for a 2-0 lead.
Savonen made it 3-0 with nine minutes and 22 seconds left, finishing a through-ball from midfielder Josh Hacunda ’13.
Senior midfielder Andrew Nataliano pulled one back for Emory in the 88th minute, curling a free-kick from around the wall and into the right-hand corner of the net.
However, the goal couldn’t spoil the mood of the crowd, who celebrated the key 3-1 victory with great fervor.
Last Tuesday’s game was a good chance for some new faces to get a run out. In that match, Ocel opened the scoring less than five minutes in, finishing a nice ball from Russo. Russo grabbed one of his own just moments later, slotting home a ball from Feather, who scored the next two goals in the 14th and 58th minutes. Forward Chris Bradley ’16 capped the scoring in the 79th minute.
Despite the setback against Carnegie, Coven remains hopeful. “We might be able to get [an NCAA Division III Tournament bid], but we have to win at NYU,” he said of the Judges last game on Saturday at 11 a.m.
“We’ve got to win.”