By LJ VP LaFiura – 1851 Contributor
On Saturday, Taylor Field hosted a non-conference men’s soccer matchup against Union College. Union took only a two-goal lead into the second half but posted three more goals to take down the Men’s Soccer team 5-0.
“I’m very pleased with the effort today. The effort was way better than what you saw against Rivier,” said Coach Michael Haynes. “Union is a highly ranked college nationally, and for us to put up a performance like that today, I was very happy.”
The team defense held up for most of the game, forcing the Union team to move forward slowly with a lot of lateral movement. However, this didn’t stop them forever, as Union sophomore Matthew Dougherty found himself with the ball five yards out with only the goalkeeper to beat. He slipped a shot across the goal and into the right corner for the opening score. Dougherty completed a brace when he found the rebound of a shot saved by Gabriel Bizakas.
On the other side of the ball, the men’s soccer team struggled to put together quality scoring chances. Union held them to eight shots which required three saves from Union keepers Sean Speck and Kenyon Pelletier. Much of this was due to the play and experience of Union’s backline.
“Ball security is very important. If we don’t protect the ball and make good passes out we can’t have success. That’s why we look so good in the backline and midfield but not the front line,” said Haynes.
After the half, it was Union’s game. They scored three goals, including a 35 yard shot from Luca Richo, his third goal of the season. Scores also came from Craig Miller and Wyatt Goldfisher.
Haynes cited junior Alex Melo, sophomore Johnny Leone, and sophomore Johnny Price as particularly impactful players in the match.
“The work rate was up, and they played really hard throughout the game. That’s the kind of effort we want to see from the team consistently. I hope that this turns the page and we keep playing this way,” said Haynes.
The men’s soccer team will play again at Taylor Field on Wednesday, September 22, when they take on the University of Saint Joseph.