This past weekend, the men’s soccer team participated in the Keene State College Tournament, splitting two games. On Saturday, the Lions took a heart-breaking loss to host Keene State College in double overtime by a score of 1-0. However, the Lions rebounded the following day to defeat Fitchburg State College in a decisive 4-1 victory.
In the first game of the season, the Lions dominated much of the game against the Owls, outshooting them 15-10. The Lions played aggressively in the second half, firing 11 shots, while the Owls managed only one attempt on net. The game remained scoreless until double overtime, where the Owls netted the first goal of the game at the 1:02:53 mark.
“It was great to get out there and have a game after what was a great preseason for us,” said senior forward Chris Pisano. “Obviously it was a heart-breaker to lose the game in double overtime, but all in all we are walking away from this game content with our performance.”
Senior forward Ray Nelan led the Lions’ attack with five shots fired on net, followed by junior midfielder Kevin Shaw with three shots. On the defensive side, junior goalkeeper Matthew Frederick was perfect through regulation and finished with three saves, while surrendering the only goal of the game.
“We played well as a team, connecting passes across the field and playing great team defense,” said sophomore midfielder Tyler Higgins.
The Lions were able to bounce back on Sunday to defeat the Falcons in impressive fashion. The squad came out of the gate strong, firing 10 shots in the first 15 minutes of the period. Senior forward Luigi Moriello tallied the Lions’ first goal of the season at the 17:41 mark. Following Moriello’s goal, senior midfielder Mike Recchia connected on a goal of his own to make the score 2-0 in the first half.
The Lions started right where they had left off in the second half. Pisano converted on his first goal of the season, along with junior midfielder Taylor Gregory. Senior forward Dan Constants had a pair of assists, setting up Recchia and Pisano’s goals. Goal prevention was also superb as junior goalkeeper Aaron Utman picked up the victory, stopping the only shot he faced in the opening half.
Overall, it was a dominant performance by the College as they outshot Fitchburg State 33-9. After the game, Moriello was named to the All-Tournament team for his outstanding play.
“For the next few games, we will just want to keep playing well, keep our heads up and play together as a unit,” said Higgins. “We look forward to improving our record and having a successful year together.”
The squad will try to keep the ball rolling as it resumes action on Sept. 9 at the Stockton Seashore Soccer Classic against Johns Hopkins University. The Lions will wrap up the week by playing against John Jay College the following day.
“The soccer is looking good, we have a deep bench that keeps the level of play high, and we seem to be clicking as a team,” said Pisano.