Ryan Flynn – Sports Editor –
The two Marios came out firing for the Owls men’s soccer team in their 4-0 season opening victory over Saint Rose at Jess Dow Field Wednesday night. Mario DiMiceli had a hat trick, scoring three goals, while Mario Costa chipped in one of his own.
“It’s always good to start off with a win,” head coach Tom Lang said. “You always want to get a good positive result under your belt but we have to keep it in perspective. I don’t think it was our best performance. I don’t think we played as well as we’re capable of, and we’ve got a lot of work to do to clean up some things.”
DiMiceli began the scoring in a game which also serves as the Owls’ Northeast-10 conference opener, recording his first goal of the season in the 24th minute. Costa followed with a header off of a Ross McGibney free kick to put his team up 2-0.
“I just saw Ross, made eye contact with him and he extended a beautiful ball. And I just got in behind the defender and made contact with it and hit it to the far post. Beautiful service by Ross—I just put it back in the net,” Costa said.
Costa would leave with an injury late in the game, which he described as a combination of cramping and aggravating an ankle injury he suffered prior to the game.
“I just think he took a little bit of a knock and he’ll be fine,” Lang said. “He’s a tough kid. I’m not very concerned about it.”
DiMiceli added to his goal total, scoring in the 82nd and 84th minute to basically ice the game and put his team up 4-0 late in the second half.
“I was just really motivated and I was making runs for teammates. And I think at some point it just clicked and they saw me,” DiMiceli said. “I’m really grateful for my teammates for my goals.”
This was DiMiceli’s first game as an Owl. The senior transferred from Iona College in New York to join Southern’s roster.
It’s safe to say that he is off to a good start wearing white and blue.
“Mario’s a typical goal scorer. He’ll get some chances and miss them and then all of a sudden he’ll pop up out of nowhere and put two or three in,” Lang said.
Saint Rose could get nothing done when they had the ball taking just three total shots and allowing Southern goalkeeper Greg Cumpstone to record a shutout without a single save.
“It wasn’t the perfect performance but I don’t think any game is,” DiMiceli said. “We just have to keep working hard and make sure that we come out against Dowling with the right mentality.”
The game against Dowling, also at home, will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 7p.m. The Owls lost 4-2 in their meeting last year in Oakdale, New York.
The team will be looking for a much different result this time around.
“Dowling’s always an NCAA caliber team; they always have a number of international players,” Lang said. “They’re always well-coached and athletic so it’ll be a real challenge for us. We went down there last year and got off to a good start but then they came back and beat us. I’d like to pay them back this year.”