Men’s soccer begins new season with tough draw
Joe Bulwidas — Contributor
On Saturday, the men’s soccer team opened their season and faced off against out-of-conference opponent Mercy College Mavericks. The day was perfect with the beautiful sun shining on Jess Dow Field, but the weather could not carry Southern to a victory.
Nor did the weather aid Mercy for a win. Instead, the two teams battled throughout a game that ended in a double overtime tie at 2-2.
The Mavericks, who were at the time ranked 24th in the nation among division two teams and were also opening their season, got on the board first, scoring a goal in the tenth minute which went unanswered all the way up until halftime.
In the second half, Southern was able to tie the game at one-a-piece from a goal delivered by sophomore forward, Juan Avila in the 53rd minute.
Sophomore goalkeeper Aren Seeger, who ended with nine saves on the day, said the team’s focus and mindset helped carry them throughout the game.
“When we were down 1-0 early, our determination to get back into the game tied up,” said Seeger. “The determination after that to get the go-ahead goal to give us the lead against one of the top 25 teams in the country.”
In the 60th minute of the game, senior forward, Devante Texieria, earned his second assist for the Owls by way of junior midfielder, Ignasi Perez Cereols for his first goal of the season.
Mercy soon caught up to Southern’s one-point lead when they scored another goal in the 80th minute of the game.
The score was tied and both teams were pushing themselves harder and harder as the clock ran down. With the sound of the buzzer and the announcer counting down from ten to zero, the game was over and into sudden death overtime.
The teams went back and forth, struggling to score as the ten minutes of overtime clicked down, leading to double overtime. Despite both team’s best efforts, the additional time soon ran out and the game ended as a draw, 2-2.
“I thought, overall, despite the fact we gave up two goals, I felt that we were fairly solid defensively,” said head coach Tom Lang. “We made a couple of errors and they punished us for it because they’re a very good team. They’re in the top 25 of the country for a reason.”
This first game set the season 2019-2020 in motion, and Lang said the men will rest up but come back swinging for their next game.
“We need to scout our next opponent and get an idea how they play and get back to basics,” said Lang.
The Owls next two games will be played in N.Y., the first being against New York Tech on Sept. 11, and the next against Nyack College two days later. After their brief two-game road trip, the men’s soccer team comes back to Jess Dow Field to play NE10 matchup Assumption College on Sept. 17.
Photo courtesy: SOUTHERNCTOWLS.COM