Soccer squeaks past Bentley
Joe Freer – Reporter
The men’s soccer team defeated Bentley Saturday afternoon with a final score of 2-1. The Owl’s first goal came from freshman Daniel Utgaard, following a deflected pass off to a Bentley defender that found its way into the back of the net for Southern’s second score. The own-goal came in the last two minutes of regulation. A Bentley defender kicked the ball back to his goalkeeper, who was looking the other way when the ball rolled past him giving Southern a late lead. A four save performance from goalkeeper Jake Davis also helped to secure the Southern victory.
Utgaard’s goal came on a corner kick from Ignasi Perez Cerelos, with 13 minutes left in the first half. The goal was the first of Utgaard’s Southern career and something he said he strives to continue doing to help give the Owls’ offense a boost.
“It was fun,” said Utgaard. “[There will] hopefully be more to come.”
The Owls took on a Bentley team that came into the game with a 2-1-1 record. Two yellow cards were dished out early as a result of overly physical play from each side. There was a scuffle early in the second half that drew “oo’s” and “aw’s” from the crowd after two players dove for the ball near Southern’s goal. There were no fouls on the play and the game continued with a 1-1 tie.
Assistant coach Paul Templeton said that the game, “wasn’t for the purists in terms of attractive soccer,” but that “it’s important to win games like these” to help climb up through the conference standings.
Templeton also said Bentley presented a physical challenge for the Owls, and if it was not for a self-goal late in the second half, the game would have ended in a tie.
“Bentley made the game difficult,” said Templeton.
The Owls only had six shots on goal in the entire first half and five in the second.
Bentley only managed to record five shots on goal in the second half — none of which were successful.
Davis who let up one goal throughout the 90-minute contest, gave credit to the defense and the team’s performance, saying that their play “gave us a chance to win,” and that any win is “a team effort.” Davis has only appeared in two games this season, the second half against Mercy College and against Bentley. His save percentage increased by 17 percent between those games. He has an overall 50 percent save rate thus far this season.
He also said that Zak Wright, Jhony Gonzalez and Nicolas Ruiz Colodrero provided solid efforts on the defensive end.
Davis said his focus is already on improving on his play for next game. “[Coach Lang] always wants us to play better.”
After Saturday’s win, head coach Tom Lang and his team will face Stonehill on the road this Thursday. Stonehill will enter the game with a 2-1-1 record and will advance to 3-1-1 bearing a win against the conference opponent.
Photo Credit: southernctowls.com