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Defensive lapses lead to Owls loss

Sean Meenaghan — Photo Editor
Sophomore Jon Eckford has one goal and one assist playing in 13 games this season.

RYAN IANNIStaff Writer

It was another case of “here we go again” for the Owls on Wednesday, Oct. 19 against the Stonehill Skyhawks in a cold, wet and rainy game.

Defensive lapses, allowing early goals, giving the ball away and poor man marking on corner kicks have been issues all season long and eventually led to a 3-2 defeat.

Through the first 30 minutes of the game, there was only one true opportunity for either to team to open the scoring: a corner to Stonehill in the 17th minute that led to a free header on net. Stephen Sasso made the save after he was chosen to start for the first time this season over Andrew Esposito.

In the 32nd minute, a bad foul by Southern on their own half allowed Stonehill to take a free kick.  The ball was passed to the onrushing and unmarked body of forward Michael White, who shot from the top of the box as the ball glided off the slick wet surface into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.

“We’ve had lapses in concentration that have cost us all season,” said senior captain Paul Templeton.  “It’s been prevalent tonight.  We don’t seem to come out of the traps quickly.”

Southern did respond just four minutes from halftime however, as a sequence of passes ended up at the foot of Templeton near the top of the box; he opened up his body and shot a curling ball that beat the keeper into the far side of the net.

The score would remain tied at 1-1 for the remaining three minutes as the half ended..

Just two minutes into the second half, the defensive lapses that have plagued the Owls showed again as a ball down the left flank found Stonehill’s Kristopher Brassard. He crossed the ball into the box to unmarked forward Mark Bolster, who only had to get a slight touch to make the score 2-1.

Four minutes later Southern’s defense was pried apart too easily again, as White took a pass to the penalty box and held up as three defenders came to knock him off the ball.

With all the defenders surrounding him, White played a no-look pass to the open space. Senior midfielder Ross McWilliams blasted the shot home resoundingly and gave Stonehill a 3-1 lead.

“It’s a little frustrating,” said Owls head coach Tom Lang.  “We come out of half time feeling like we’ve got things figured out and all of a sudden we give up a goal with a lack of concentration; it’s disappointing.”

Southern did have a late ray of hope as Templeton recovered the ball at the top of Stonehill’s box in the 85th minute and ripped his shot into the net for his second of the night to make it 3-2; the goalkeeper didn’t even attempt to save it.

“We had enough chances to win the game,” said Templeton.  “But having said that, we need to do a better job of protecting the goalkeeper better than we did.”

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