The Lions’ men’s soccer team played to two ties this week in a pair of hard-fought defensive struggles. The first came against the Ducks of Stevens Institute of Technology on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at home and ended 0-0. The second game took place on Saturday at Ramapo College that ended 1-1.
This game marks the second year in a row the College and Stevens have played to a tie, as last years’ matchup ended in a double overtime draw as well.
Wednesday was senior goalkeeper Steve Scuttellaro’s first start of his career at the College. Scutellaro picked up a shutout with five saves.
“Up to this point I had been the backup,” Scuttellaro said, “but I had seemed confident in practice. The team and I responded well together.”
The Lions managed two shots on goal in the second period, one by sophomore defender Matt Erny and the other by freshman midfielder/forward Andrew Lampitt.
The College had a chance to win before the end of regulation with sophomore defender/midfielder Adam Dorflinger’s attempt on goal with 47 seconds left but the ball just missed the net, hitting off the crossbar.
Halfway through the first overtime, senior defender Frank Fiorilli earned a red card for pulling on a Ducks player’s shirt and left the Lions to finish the game with 10 men rather than 11. Both teams refused to allow in any goals, completing the double shoutout.
“We played a good team, so that was a real plus,” Scuttellaro said. “A tie against a good team is still good.”
The College’s Saturday matchup with Ramapo, the Lions’ New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) opener, proved to be another close match, ending in a 1-1 tie after another double overtime.
The Roadrunners struck first, scoring on a penalty kick by freshman forward Giuseppe Trani 14 minutes into the game. The Lions tied the game before intermission on a goal by sophomore forward Kevin Luber, and neither team scored again in the game.
Both teams, however, had plenty of opportunities to score. The College had 13 shots on goal while Ramapo had 10, but neither school could capitalize on these shots thanks to the strong play of both goalkeepers. Roadrunner sophomore goalkeeper Steve Tighe and Scuttellaro each had 12 saves.
“Both of the teams we played were good teams, so they were acceptable ties,” Scuttellaro said, “but we need to start winning games.”
The Lions now hold a record of 0-0-1 in NJAC play and 4-1-2 overall, while Ramapo stands at 0-0-1 in the NJAC and is 5-0-1 on the season. Next up for the College is a game at Richard Stockton College today at 7 p.m.
Ducks: 0 / Lions: 0
Lions: 1 / Roadrunners: 1