Men’s soccer breaks even against tough teams

The men’s soccer team had a busy week, picking up three points in the standings over three games. The games were an opportunity for the Lions to pick up ground in the win column as they came into the week with a 3-3 record. The team finished the week with a modest 1-1-1 record.

The College took on Richard Stockton College in its New Jersey Athletic Conference opener to begin the week. The Lions struck first as senior forward Luigi Moriello tickled the net in the first half, converting a nice pass from junior midfielder Kevin Shaw. The Lions appeared to have a firm grasp of the game but could not hold on in the final minutes.

The Ospreys had a late-game surge, firing five shots on net in a span of 6:30. Richard Stockton connected with 1:03 remaining in regulation to force the game into overtime.

The overtime period held few scoring opportunities for both teams, as the defenses played extremely sharp. The Lions held a 3-2 advantage in shots but could not capitalize on it, and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

Kevin Shaw scored vs. Montclair. (Photo courtesy of Sports Information Desk)

“It’s always good to get points away from home, but we definitely were satisfied with a tie against Stockton,” said senior forward Dan Constants. “We had a good game, but lost some focus in the last moments. Giving up that tying goal with 1:03 left on the clock was very frustrating.”

In the second game of the week, the Lions took on FDU-Florham. The College was down by a score of 1-0 for the majority of the game, and it was not until the last 10 minutes that the Lions began to play some of their best soccer of the season.

With only 10 minutes left, the urgency began to kick in, but senior leadership did not let the team cripple. Senior midfielders Ed Kozic and Anthony DiPalmo took matters into their own hands, as DiPalmo fed the ball to Kozic to even the score at one apiece. The tying goal from Kozic set the stage for freshman midfielder Kevin McCartney, who delivered the unassisted game-winning goal, the first goal of his collegiate career.

“Coming from a goal down was a big lift for the team,” said Constants. “The way we won, with Kevin McCartney’s goal, was exciting. It was a great goal from him and a big moment for him. Everyone was reliving the goal and congratulating him after the game.”

To finish the week, the College took on Montclair State University, which is second in the NJAC. The Red Hawks struck early, just over 10 minutes into the game. The Red Hawks continued the pressure, scoring once again at the 30-minute mark to take a commanding 2-0 lead.

The Lions finally entered the scoring column with a spectacular goal off the foot of Shaw to diminish the deficit to one. The goal was Shaw’s third of the season, tying Moriello for the team’s lead. The Red Hawks’ defense was stingy the remainder of the game, holding off several good shot attempts. The Lions were never able to overcome the early deficit, falling to 4-4-1 on the season.

This week, the Lions take on Rutgers University-Camden and Rutgers University-Newark. The pair of conference games gives them an opportunity to pick up some ground in the NJAC, as they are currently tied for seventh.