The College’s men’s soccer team suffered its second loss of the season on a controversial goal against New Jersey City University (NJCU) Saturday afternoon.
The Lions, ranked No. 14 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll, have a record of 9-2-1 overall and 4-2 in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) games with the 2-1 loss to NJCU.
NJCU took the lead when Jonathan Bilbao scored directly off a corner kick at the nine-minute mark.
Bilbao’s kick hooked into the near post where it was deflected away from the goal by a Lions’ defender.
After a brief conference with the side judge, the referee indicated that the ball crossed the goal line before being deflected, giving the Gothic Knights the game-winning goal.
Before the goal was scored, the Lions defense set up an offsides play on NJCU’s offense.
According to the Lions sophomore goalie Matt Kasperavicius, the line judge raised his flag then quickly brought it back down. Eventually, that play lead to the corner kick and controversial goal.
“There’s not much you can do. They made a goal and you move on,” head coach George Nazario said. “You just accept it and that’s how the game goes.”
The teams exchanged goals in the first half with the Gothic Knights’ Juan Espinoza, scoring first at the 19-minute mark.
The Lions tied the game up 13 minutes later as sophomore forward Craig Langan scored from within the penalty area.
“There weren’t any good passes and we needed to find each other’s feet. We needed to get the ball better to each other,” Kasperavicius said. “We need to play with confidence, but we’re looking to come back strong.”
Kasperavicius had a standout game in goal for the Lions with seven saves, while his counterpart Bruce Neves recorded two saves for the Gothic Knights.
The College continues NJAC play on Thursday as it hosts William Paterson University.