Lions hopes to end season on strong note

By Alexandra Parado
Sports Editor

The men’s soccer team holds an overall record of 9-6-2 as a result of a tie against Stockton University, two wins over New Jersey City University and Brooklyn College and defeats by Stevens Institute of Technology and Montclair State University.

On Oct. 10, the Lions faced New Jersey Athletic Conference opponent Stockton at home.

The Lions had a few opportunities to score, but both shots on goal attempted by sophomore midfielder Ryan Vazquez and sophomore defender Sebastian Leon were denied by Stockton’s goalkeeper.

The team was outshot by Stockton by 15, with four shots on goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Daniel Mecadon protected the goal and denied all four shots that came his way.

The defense unit was comprised of junior defender Matt Decker, freshman defender Dante Bettino, senior midfielder Jeorge Jauk and junior midfielder Michael Maltese.

The game was forced to settle for a 0-0 draw.

Bettino scores his first collegiate goal. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

On Oct. 13, the Lions hosted another NJAC opponent, NJCU, in the College’s Soccer Complex.

The team had plenty of shooting opportunities during the first half of this match and ultimately outshot NJCU by a 30-9 differential.

With just 15 minutes remaining, Maltese netted his first game of the year off of an assist by freshman midfielder Ryan Santos.

Minutes later, Maltese sent in a corner kick that was headed into the goal by Jauk, resulting in the final score of 2-0.

Mecadon stopped four shots on goal out of NJCU’s nine attempted shots, recording another shutout game for the Lions.

One shutout game was not enough for the team, as it succeeded in its sixth shutout victory against Brooklyn College on Oct. 15 in Brooklyn, New York.

Senior midfielder Nick Sample scored off an assist by Leon to quickly give the team a lead. Just a few minutes later, freshman defender Dante Bettino scored his first collegiate goal with help from Sample.

The team closed the first half of the game with a lead of 4-0 after goals made by sophomore midfielder Kevin Esteves and sophomore defender Dylan Teixeira, the latter being Teizeira’s first goal of his career.

In the second half, Teixeira and Bettino each scored another goal while sophomore forward Abdullah Afridi, sophomore midfielder Kevin Ordonez and freshman midfielder John Taylor each added a point each to advance the Lions.

Freshman goalkeeper Nolan Cloney saved the only two shots he faced on goal to earn the team’s shutout victory.

The Lions broke their winning-streak on Oct. 17 against Stevens.

Stevens captured an early lead against the Lions, scoring two minutes into the game. The team could not seem to make its shots in the goal the entire first half of the game. The first half closed with a 2-0 advantage by Stevens.

In the 63rd minute, Bettino received the ball from Maltese and smoothly kicked it in the goal, scoring the Lions’ first point.

The team could not break the lead, as Stevens shot its third goal to end the game with a final score of 3-1. 

On Saturday, Oct. 20, the Lions journeyed to Montclair, New Jersey and fell 3-4 against Montclair State.

First to put itself on the board was Montclair State after scoring on a penalty kick. Tying it up, Sample responded with a goal a little more than two minutes later.

The team went back and forth as Montclair State scored again, and Vazquez again for the Lions.

With both sides netting two goals by the end of the first half, the second half of the game was full of intensity.

Vazquez scored again off an assist by Maltese, but Montclair State quickly got rid of the Lions’ lead. Scoring twice, Montclair State gained a lead that it did not give up. The game ended with a score of 4-3.

Montclair State outshot the Lions 28-13, while Mecadon reached his career high of 11 saves this game.

The Lions face NJAC opponent Rowan University on Oct. 24 in Lions Stadium for the team’s senior night and final game of the season.