By Miguel Gonzalez
Starting the season with a win is nice, but two wins are twice as nice.
The men’s soccer team shined at the Drew Fall Festival in Madison, New Jersey. They shut down Centenary University, 3-0, on Friday, Aug. 31. The following Saturday, Sept. 1, the Lions defeated Marymount University, 3-1.
Sophomore midfielder Ryan Vazquez led the Lions offense, scoring two goals against Centenary. After the team missed seven shots in the first 25 minutes, Vazquez netted the first goal of the season off a long pass from sophomore defender Dylan Teixeira.
The Lions continued to press forward for the rest of the first half, but were unable to score. The team’s best chances to score occurred in the 31st minute, when senior midfielder Nick Sample launched consecutive corner kicks.
In the second half, the Lions offense came in blazing against Centenary. Vazquez claimed his second goal when he dribbled past multiple defenders and snuck his shot past the net.
In the midst of the strong offensive effort, the Lions defense stood firm against Centenary, as its opponents did not record a shot until the 68th minute. The team continued to stall Centenary for the remainder of the match until Sample netted a goal.
With four minutes remaining, Sample gathered possession and hit his shot past Centenary’s goalkeeper. The Lions offense recorded 13 shots during the match, and that was just the beginning of their domination.
The following Saturday, the men’s soccer team dismissed Marymount University in a 3-1 win.
Sample lead the Lions offense with a pair of goals, and the squad didn’t stop as Vazquez and sophomore midfielder David McMillan recorded shots to end the first half.
The Lions continued to push toward another goal in the second half. Sample netted his second goal to put the Lions ahead, 2-1, when his shot deflected past Marymount defenders.
Holding onto a 2-1 lead, sophomore goalkeeper Michael Kayal kept the score intact when he saved a shot in the 72nd minute.
At the 78th minute, sophomore forward Abdullah Afridi shot toward Marymount’s goalkeeper. Standing near the opposing goalkeeper, freshman midfielder Ryan Santos caught the rebound and scored his first collegiate goal for the Lions.
With a commanding 3-1 lead, the College secured the Drew Fall Festival team title with two wins.
After a successful start to the season, the Lions look to continue their momentum in their first home match at the Soccer Complex on Wednesday, Sept. 5 against the College of Mount Saint Vincent at 4 p.m.
The team will face Gettysburg College and Elizabethtown College this weekend as they host the 2018 Men’s Soccer Classic hosted in the Soccer Complex.