RYAN IANNI — Staff Writer
It was a tale of two halves for the SCSU men’s soccer team against the LeMoyne Dolphins on Tuesday, Sept. 27. The first half saw the Owls dominate possession and create numerous scoring opportunities. The second half, however, saw them give up two goals in a two-minute span to lose the game heartbreakingly 2-0.
“I was very pleased with how we played the first half,” said SCSU head coach Tom Lang. “I thought we dictated the tempo of the game, but you have to give them a little bit of credit, they came out in the second half, put us under a little more pressure and we didn’t deal with it well.”
From the kick off, the Owls had a series of one-touch passes that culminated in a shot from the left flank that LeMoyne goalkeeper Matthew Silva parried away. The first half continued to move in this fashion for Southern, as they had several shots that either were sent just wide of the net or were saved by Silva.
Southern’s defense was nothing less than imperious during the first half. The defense recovered every ball and distributed them back to their midfield with speed and precision.
A mere two minutes later saw a gorgeous shot from the outside of junior Matan Bik’s foot, which had Silva beaten; unfortunately it cannoned off the top of the crossbar.
“Honestly,” said Bik, “I didn’t even think it was a good shot at first, I just shot and it came off well.”
It was to follow this pattern until the half-time whistle: Southern passing around LeMoyne in circles, ripping shot after shot, but not breaking the deadlock.
“When you have the possession, and we created numerous opportunities, you need to take them when you’re on the ascendancy,” said SCSU senior and captain of the team, Paul Templeton. “We haven’t done that tonight, and unfortunately it came back to bite us; so in short, you need to take your chances when you’re on top.”
About 10 minutes after half time, the Dolphins stepped up their intensity and pressure. LeMoyne freshman Alexander Lautner received a yellow card in the 60th minute for a challenge on Southern goalie Andrew Esposito.
Ten minutes later saw LeMoyne’s first true opportunity to score, with a bad bounce off a Southern defender right into the path of the onrushing forward that slotted just wide of the net.
Calamity then struck in the form of a two-minute lapse that led to Southern’s downfall. In the 77th minute, the Dolphins had a fast break down the left wing where the ball was neatly passed to senior Jesse Carr, who had time to wind up and blast a rocket of a shot towards the upper right hand corner of the net.
One minute later saw a LeMoyne long ball take a bad bounce off the defender, where sophomore forward Michael Spadine moved into the box, beat the defender with a clever back heel move, and placed the ball into the net.
LeMoyne held on the remaining 12 minutes to secure victory and move to a record of 5-3-1. Southern now boasts a 4-3 record.
Coach Lang says that one of the main things he wants to improve on is having his team finish chances more often than they have been.
“We had chances, and we didn’t capitalize on them,” said Lang. “We seem to need 20 chances to score a couple goals, and other teams make two or three chances and they score. So we’ve got to be better about certain things; it’s a very disappointing result.”