The College’s men’s soccer season came to a disappointing close last week with the Lions’ 2-0 loss to Kean University last Wednesday night. If they had won, the Lions would have had a chance to qualify for the upcoming conference postseason tournament. The loss to Kean came as many others did in the Lions’ season, as they were unable to score at critical points during the game yet again. Kean’s senior forward, Mike Andrews, twin brother of Lions’ football and track star Steve Andrews, was responsible for all the scoring. He scored two quick goals near the end of the second half, which ended up being all the Cougars needed for a victory. Freshman goalkeeper Michael Cladek had five saves in the losing effort.
With the win, Kean gained entrance to the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship Tournament and finished the regular season with a 9-9-1 overall record.
A week earlier, the Lions came up with a big win to keep their playoff hopes alive. On Oct. 20, the Lions’ offense shined as they picked up a 5-1 victory over New Jersey City University.
The College started the scoring early when sophomore midfielder Marc Cino scored three minutes into the game. Ten minutes later, freshman forward Craig Langan scored off a rebound to give the Lions a 2-0 lead.
The Lions led 3-0 after the first half and they didn’t look back from there. Other goal scorers for the College included sophomore defender Tim Dudek, freshman midfielder Joseph McGinley and junior forward Ryan McMann.
Despite being outshot 24-13 in the game, the Lions were able to capitalize on the opportunities they had to get the win.
Later that week, the Lions were unable to continue winning when they lost 2-0 to William Paterson University. The game was held scoreless in the first half, but in the second half, the Lions’ defense could not hold down the Pioneers. Senior Mark Torrie scored 60 minutes into the game and with nine seconds remaining, sophomore Jay Hooper scored to seal the game for William Paterson.
The Lions finished the season with a 7-9-2 record overall and were 1-5-2 in the NJAC. After their 5-0 start, this was not the type of season that head coach George Nazario was hoping to have.
“Any time you have a losing record, it’s a disappointing season,” Nazario said. “The most disappointing part of the season was giving up questionable goals and key moments and being unable to score as much as we would have liked.”
Many of the players on the team had the same sentiments as their coach.
Sophomore forward Matt Luber said it was impossible not to be disappointed about the season after the team got off to such a good start. “Our team definitely did not achieve as much as we could have,” he said. “The effort was there all year but the breaks did not come our way.”
Being a young team, though, the Lions have many returning members who are looking forward to next season and hope they will be able to break through and make a run at the league title.
“We played well against very good teams this year and we just couldn’t finish the games off,” Cino said. “Next year we will have nine returning starters and with another solid recruiting class we expect to compete with the rest of the conference and be at the top.”