By Miguel Gonzalez
Assistant Sports Editor
The Soccer Complex’s stands were dotted with members of the College’s greatest soccer teams on Saturday, Sept. 24 — the 1991 NCAA Division III National finalists and the 1996 NCAA National champions. The alumni were not disappointed, as they witnessed the current men’s soccer team thrash the New Jersey City University Gothic Knights in a 7-0 shutout.
Despite accumulating an 8-1-1 record and leading the New Jersey Athletic Conference with 36 goals, the Gothic Knights were overwhelmed by the College’s aggressive offense until the final whistle blew.
The home crowd cheered for junior midfielder Peter Dresch’s hat trick performance. In the 13th minute, Dresch dribbled past two Gothic Knight defenders and tapped in a goal with an assist from senior midfielder Nick Costelloe.
Dresch followed with another goal in the 16th minute when he headed in a pass from sophomore midfielder/forward Nick Sample. The Gothic Knights immediately countered with three shots, including a close save by Lions goalkeeper Dan Walsh.
“It is very nice having someone as tall as (Walsh) in net. His wingspan allows him to control aerial balls in the box and enables him to save shots that would be much more difficult for smaller keepers to handle,” said Domenic Polidoro, senior midfielder/defender.
In the second half, the Lions mauled the Gothic Knights with five more goals on their way to a 7-0 victory. At the 53rd minute, Dresch dribbled across three defenders and hit a fast ground shot toward the right post for his third goal.
With a 3-0 lead, the Lions kept scoring as substitute changes were made. In the 61st minute, sophomore midfielder Joerg Jauk launched a free kick shot past the goalkeeper for the Lions fourth goal.
Twenty minutes later, sophomore midfielder Aaron Conyer blasted a shot from right field for his first collegiate goal. Senior forward Thomas Hogue padded the Lions lead with two more goals to complete the 7-0 shutout.
The crowd was not as uproarious in Madison, N.J., where the Lions fought the Drew University Rangers on Wednesday Sept. 21. It was a grueling night for the Lions as they fought the Rangers across two overtimes.
The Rangers scored first in the 10th minute when sophomore midfielder Anthony McMyne dribbled past the Lions defense and skipped through Walsh for the goal.
The Lions nearest scoring opportunity came at the 44th minute when sophomore defender Nick Provenzano leaped toward a corner kick pass. At the same time, Rangers goalkeeper Stephan Lukianov intercepted the pass for a save.
Down 1-0 at halftime, the Lions maintained their offensive momentum before equalizing the score. For 30 minutes, the Lions offense produced six corner kicks. The shots paid off when Polidoro received a free kick at the 80th minute. Polidoro lobbed the ball and freshman forward Mateo Panizza charged in with a header shot for the tying goal.
Afterwards, the Lions held off the Rangers until the end of regulation time. Walking into the pitch for overtime, both teams were in for another 20 minutes of close calls and narrow misses.
In the first overtime, Costelloe shot high off the top post while freshman midfielder Sam Monaco saw his chance of winning the game blocked by a Ranger.
Heading into their second overtime, the Lions continued their attack, but each effort was unsuccessful. A shot from junior midfielder Peter Dresch was blocked. Panizza and senior defender Clayton Flon shot high. Costelloe’s shot went wide right with two minutes remaining. Both teams settled for a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes of soccer.
In the upcoming week, the Lions will play a pair of conference games starting with an away match against the Rutgers-Camden University Raptors on Wednesday, Sept. 28. On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Lions return to the Soccer Complex to compete against the RutgersNewark’s Scarlet Raiders at 1 p.m.