Soccer goes big and then goes home

It was a week of extremes for the men’s soccer team, which put a hurting on John Jay College last Friday before suffering heartbreak in a familiar fashion against Rhode Island College on Saturday afternoon.

The Lions (1-1) played a great game aginst John Jay, handing the Bloodhounds their most lopsided defeat since October 2010 in a 7-0 demolition.

Shaw scores three goals for the Lions in just two games. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

Senior midfielder Kevin Shaw opened the scoring in the sixth minute with an unassisted goal, and the floodgates opened near half-time when the Lions were able to run up the score on the back of positive possession play.

“We were able to establish early in the game that we were the better team,” Shaw said. “By holding onto the ball and keeping possession, we created opportunities. Once we scored the first goal and got the lead, more chances were created, and we were able to finish them.”

Shaw, last year’s leading scorer, added another goal late in the game for his first brace of the young season, while sophomore forward Greg Perri added the second and third goals of his Lions career on two shots.

Senior midfielder David DeLooper, freshman midfielder Nick Costelloe and freshman forward Sean Etheridge also got on the scoreboard in a dominant offensive performance which showed that this year’s team — which mostly resembles last season’s low-scoring squad — is more than capable of putting the ball in the back of the net.

“The only offensive player we lost from last year was (forward Ray Nelan), and unfortunately he was hurt for most of last year, so really we didn’t lose too much,” Shaw said. “We brought in a few new players, but our personnel for our offense is mostly the same. I think we have a good group, so I’m hoping we will figure it out early and be able to efficiently score this year.”

The Lions’ next game was considerably tighter, though, and the familiar theme from last year of not taking advantage of scoring chances reared its ugly head in a 2-1 defeat to Rhode Island.

Shaw got on the scoreboard again off service from senior midfielder Sean Casey for a Lions lead before half-time, but Rhode Island came out of the gate strong in the second half and equalized in the 66th minute

The College did manage to force Rhode Island’s goalkeeper into seven saves, but poor finishing kept the Lions off the board until they conceded a game-deciding penalty kick 2:47 into double overtime.

“This game reminded me a lot like last year,” Shaw said. “We had control of the game and had opportunities we should have put away, but weren’t able to, (and) this was able to keep them in the game. I do not think this was their keeper having a great game but rather us not being able to finish our chances.”

The Lions can get back into the win column during this week’s Rowan Invitational Tournament in Glassboro, N.J., in which they play Gynedd-Mercy College and Farmingday State College on Friday and Saturday, respectively.