Men's Soccer: Progress continues with win over Pride
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 19:10
Down 1-0 in its game against Springfield College last Wednesday, the men’s soccer team found itself in an undesirable position. Yet, as it has done four times this year, the team rallied from an early deficit en route to a 3-1 victory.
“We play very different styles, so it was tough at first,” said forward Lee Russo ’13 of the opening stages of Wednesday's match. “Once we settled down and started dictating possession, then we started to play well. Initially, though, we struggled a bit.”
The beginning of the game spelled trouble for the Judges. Springfield dominated on the offensive side of the pitch, applying constant pressure on the Judges’ defense. Defenders Joe Eisenbies ’13 and Matt Brondoli ’14 did their best to stop Springfield from mounting an offense, but in the 14th minute, Springfield drew goalkeeper Blake Minchoff ’13 off of the goal line to make a save. Springfield then poked the ball inside the penalty box as junior midfielder Scott Saucier took a shot, which ricocheted off the far post. Junior midfielder Danny Amato then got the rebound and tapped the ball into the net for his fourth goal this season.
The Judges continued to struggle for control of the ball throughout the half. They barely had the ball in Springfield’s half at all for the first 30 minutes of the match. However, the Judges began to mount an offense as the first half wound down. In the 35th minute, defender Robbie Lynch ’15 lobbed a deep ball from the team’s half up to midfielder Steve Salazar ’14 inside the 18-yard box, which he gracefully chipped over the Springfield goalie to tie the game at one apiece.
However, the second half told a different tale. The Judges dominated the half as they have all season long.
Forward Kyle Feather ’14 stated that the team had to exhibit patience until the proper opportunities arose, and from there, it was smooth sailing.
“We’re used to coming back from behind and we’ve come back from further down; they were playing a lot of guys back on defense, and we just had to be patient and wait for our chance,” he said.
This patience paid off in just the second minute of the half. Lynch sent a through ball to forward Tyler Savonen ’15, who played the ball in the air to midfielder Sam Ocel ’13. Ocel’s shot was then blocked by Springfield goalie Billy Schmid. However, forward Feather put the ball in the back of the net to hand the Judges a 2-1 lead. Ocel’s assist pulls him to a team-leading eight this season.
Springfield regained possession for the majority of the second half, sending four unaswered efforts on goal. Yet for all their persistence, they were not able to capitalize on any of their chances, much to the relief of the Judges.
With less than a minute left on the clock, a Springfield defender attempted to back-pass the ball to the goalie to clear it. However, his effort to clear the ball resulted in a calamitous circumstance, as Schmid missed the pass. Russo, who called the goal “a gift,” sprinted by both players and slotted the ball into an empty net, providing gloss for the scoreline and sealing the hard-fought victory.
The Judges outshot Springfield 13-12, while also firing off seven corner kicks compared to one from Springfield.
The Judges have a busy week with three crucial matches, two of them from within the conference—Friday against Case Western Reserve University and Sunday versus Carnegie Mellon University.
Feather also stated that the team must be defensively cohesive, especially against their UAA competitors.
“I think we need to be more organized defensively,” he said. “We got outrun on a bunch of through-balls tonight, which is not something that usually happens. We gave up a bunch of stupid fouls. We just have to keep playing our game.”
The Judges begin their eventful week today with a game against Mount Ida College at 7 p.m.