By Miguel Gonzalez
The men’s soccer team forced overtime twice this week. On Wednesday, Sept. 20, the Lions were handed a 2-1 overtime loss against Drew University at Lions Stadium. The team then tied New Jersey City University, 2-2, in overtime on Saturday, Sept. 23.
After being shut out by William Paterson University, the Lions were up for another challenge against an undefeated Drew University. Coming to Lions Stadium, the Drew Rangers were on a three-game winning streak.
Both teams held each other scoreless in the first half. In the 10th minute, Rangers forward Aidan Cserhat shot high above the goal post off a corner kick play.
Twenty minutes later, freshman midfielder Ryan Vazquez nearly scored when he launched a shot straight at the crossbar.
During the second half, the Lions broke the stalemate when the Rangers knocked the ball in their own goal. Senior captain forward Michael Kassak crossed the ball to the penalty box where a Rangers players tapped it in for a goal. With the Lions ahead by one goal, the Rangers started to bombard the Lions defense.
“When we put them under pressure, they gave the ball away consistently in their half of the field,” Kassak said. “From there we put one shot in the net.”
As time wound down to 10 minutes remaining, the Rangers received a free kick. Freshman goalkeeper Michael Kayal was able to block Cserhat’s attempt, but Cserhat caught the rebound and tied the match.
Despite the goal, Kayal had a tremendous performance and recorded six saves.
While the Lions were able to go toe-to-toe against the Rangers in the first overtime period, the Rangers eventually won the match, 2-1. In the second overtime period, Rangers defender Grey Swanson tapped in the winning goal.
Following the loss, the Lions traveled to Jersey City, New Jersey, for a conference match against New Jersey City University.
The Lions and the Gothic Knights were locked in an offensive battle as both teams recorded more than 15 shots.
The Lions quickly scored when junior midfielder Nick Sample headed in a pass from freshman midfielder James Pike. Later in the first half, the Gothic Knights struck back when midfielder Walter Salmeron netted in a goal off a give and go pass from midfielder Diego López.
The second half was no different as both teams increased the tie to 2-2. In the 65th minute, Pike took advantage of a turnover by the Gothics and scored the team’s second goal. The Lions were not able to hold on to the lead for long.
In the 75th minute, Salmeron kicked from 35 yards and scored his second goal of the match for the Gothic Knights. Afterwards, both teams couldn’t score and the match ended in a 2-2 tie.