After being knocked out of the playoffs last season by Rowan University, the men’s soccer team gained their revenge at chilly Lions’ Stadium Sept. 24 as they shut out the Profs 3-0.
This was the first time these two teams met since their heated matchup in last year’s postseason, and the Lions took it to the Profs to gain a sense of redemption.
The star of the game was junior forward Kevin Luber, who netted the only three goals in the contest en route to the first hat trick in his illustrious career.
Two of Luber’s goals came in the first half, including his first on a penalty kick to put the Lions up early, 2-0. Around the 71-minute mark, Luber scored his third and final goal of the match to seal the win for the Lions.
Luber’s third goal was assisted by the brother tandem of senior forward Chris Nelan and freshman forward Ray Nelan.
With his stellar performance, Luber now leads the team with six goals and 15 points this season.
Despite Luber’s standout day, it still seemed to be all about the team and all about the win.
“It’s always nice to get a win,” Ray Nelan said. “We still have hopes to be more successful as it is still very early in the season.”
Chris Nelan agreed with his brother’s assessment that the team isn’t looking too far ahead.
“It is still so early,” he said. “The team looks to be improved in some areas, but deficient in others. It is shaping up to be a good season, though.”
Not to be outdone by his offense, sophomore goalkeeper Eric Goldwaser held down the fort as he made seven saves for his fourth shutout on the campaign. He now stands at an impressive 6-1-1 on the year in the net.
After the satisfying victory against Rowan, the Lions may have suffered a letdown against Montclair State on Saturday, as the fifth-ranked Red Hawks took the victory, 3-1.
With the win, Montclair State continues its 12-game regular season unbeaten streak, and is now 10-0-0 on the year for the second time in three seasons. Their undefeated start also includes a 3-0-0 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) record.
“The first loss is always a tough pill to swallow but things happened to fall into place (for Montclair State),” Goldwaser said, referring to the team’s first loss in the NJAC. “Things did not happen the way we planned. Like any team though, you have to learn to deal with both losses and wins.”
The only offense for the Lions was provided by Luber yet again, as he tied the game at 1-1 on a pass from Chris Nelan. The lead would only last for 2:22, as the Red Hawks quickly responded with the game-winner on a header off a corner kick. The Red Hawks outshot the Lions on the day 21-5.
The Lions now stand at 6-4-1 on the campaign, including a 2-1 NJAC record.
“As tough as these types of games are,” Goldwaser said, “they are preparing us well for the NJAC games we have shortly ahead.”
Coach George Nazario will be looking for his 150th career victory tonight, as the Lions will be on the road against the Scarlet Raptors of Rutgers University-Camden at 7 p.m.
Michael O’Donnell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org