By Miguel Gonzalez
The Lions endured tough matchups this week as they lost to Stevens Institute of Technology, 3-1, on Wednesday, Sept. 7, won against Keystone College, 1-0, on Saturday, Sept. 10, and lost to Whitworth University, 4-3, on Sunday, Sept. 11.
At Hoboken, N.J., the Lions were defeated by the Stevens Institute of Technology Ducks, 3-1. Both teams were scoreless at halftime as the Lions could not capitalize off corner kicks.
The Lions tallied the scoreboard in the beginning of the second half. Senior midfielder Domenic Polidoro hit a lob pass toward the goal while freshman midfielder Sam Monaco headed the ball for the Lions goal.
The Ducks equalized the score when a Duck midfielder sent a pass toward a fullback, who swiftly kicked the ball toward the top right corner of the goal.
The Ducks offensive never stopped — the team scored two more goals before the game’s end. Meanwhile, the Lions attempted to counter with a load of shots and penalty kicks. The Ducks goalkeeper meddled the Lions offense as he saved five shots, including a penalty kick by senior midfielder Nick Costelloe.
Saturday, Sept. 10, the Lions returned to the Science Complex to host the annual Adidas Classic tournament. The Lions bounced back against the Keystone Giants as they recorded 30 shots on their way to a 1-0 shutout victory.
Freshman forward Mateo Panizza started the match with a header towards the Giants goalkeeper. In the 19th minute, sophomore midfielder Nick Sample blasted two shots on target with no goal in the end.
The match remained scoreless after the first half. However, the Lions offense continued its slew of shots to the end. With one minute left in regulation time, sophomore midfielder Joerg Jauk scored on a penalty kick to seal the team’s victory.
The following day, the Lions faced an unfamiliar opponent from Spokane, Wash. — the Whitworth University Pirates. The Pirates, who compiled a 16-2-1 record and won their conference last season, initially overwhelmed the Lions with 3-0 deficit.
The Lions refused to bow down, though, and they battled for a 4-3 result.
In the first half, the Lions struggled to counter a dominant Pirates possession. In the 12th minute, a Pirate crossed the ball from left field toward the goalie’s box, where a midfielder was left unmarked and tapped in the ball for the Pirates first goal.
Two minutes later, the Pirates executed the same routine, catching the Lions off guard for another goal.
The Pirates goalkeeper shunned the Lions offense and recorded four saves.
After halftime, the Lions sieged through the Pirates defense and launched six shots by the 51st minute. However, the Pirates retaliated with another goal.
With 25 minutes remaining, the Lions resurged when Polidoro used a free kick to send a pass to senior defender Clayton Flon, who followed with a goal through the goalkeeper’s legs.
The crowd roared when Costelloe took advantage of a slow pass and flickered the ball above the Pirates goalkeeper.
Two minutes later, Panizza possessed a rebound and slid in a goal from the right side. Initially, the goal was not counted, but after review, the referees ruled that the ball crossed the goal line.
With the game tied, 3-3, the Lions fought until the last whistle. However, the Lions steep comeback fell short when Ducks junior midfielder Jonah Snyder scored the winning goal after bypassing the Lions defense.
“Making shots is one thing, scoring goals is a whole ’nother challenge,” said head coach George Nazario. “The team performed better in the second half by converting turnovers and opportunities.”
The Lions lace up for another home match against the Fairleigh Dickinson University- Florham Devils on Wednesday, Sept. 14.