Men struggle, come back strong at Blue Jay Classic

Junior forward Luigi Moriello. (tcnjathletics.com)

By Kevin Lee
Correspondent

The Lions split two games this past Friday and Saturday, as they traveled to Elizabethtown, Pa. to take part in the Blue Jay Classic hosted by Elizabethtown College.

“Everyone on our squad will take this tournament in a positive way because we over came a tough loss the first night, but we were able to re-group and come away with a strong performance on Saturday,” sophomore goalkeeper Aaron Utman said.

In the first game against Elmhurst College, the Lions played extremely well, but were a victim of bad luck as they loss 3-1. The Lions outshot their opponents for the fourth straight game and even held a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks. However, the Lions were playing catch up for the entire game as Elmhurst scored at the 29-minute mark of the first half and took a 1-0 lead at the intermission.

Heading into the second half, the Lions continued to struggle on both sides of the ball. Elmhurst continued to attack the Lions defense, as they notched their second goal of the game just 15 minutes into the second half and would later score again at the 72-minute mark, pushing the lead to 3-0.

The Lions finally broke through the zero column, as senior forward Andrew Lampitt scored his first goal of the season with just four minutes to play.

In the second game of the Blue Jay Classic, the Lions were victorious against Washington and Lee University for their first win of the season. The Lions played extremely well on both sides of the ball, which led to a 4-0 shutout.

“It was a great feeling for everyone on the team to get that first win, especially with the way we won it,” Utman said. “We knew before hand that this game was a must win and we definitely came out with a lot of energy and took the game from the beginning.”

Sophomore midfielder Sean Cunneen began the scoring attack just two minutes into the game, allowing the Lions to take an early advantage. The Lions did not look back from there as junior forward Luigi Moriello scored two goals and sophomore midfielder Kevin Shaw added one more. In addition, much credit was given to the defense, as the defense limited Washington and Lee to a stingy zero goals. Goalkeeper Aaron Utman, notched his first career shutout facing seven shots and saving four.

The Lions continue their season as they travel to Stevens Institute of Technology on Wednesday Sept. 15 to cap off conference play.

“The team simply needs to build off our victory and try and keep our momentum throughout conference play,” Utman said. “If we can keep focused and play as a team the soccer will follow and so will the results that we are looking for.”