Men’s soccer loses in yet another overtime
Sam Tapper — Sports Writer
Despite having the lead for over 60 minutes of play, the Owls’ men’s soccer team suffered its first loss of the season to Assumption College in their home opener at Jess Dow Field.
In what would also serve as the opener for NE10 conference play, the Owls entered the day with one win and two ties. They kept the Greyhounds quiet in the first half, as Southern kept control of the ball and was able to get on the board 1-0 with a goal from sophomore Daniel Utgaard 20 minutes in.
In the second half, however, the Greyhounds found new life. Though the Owls were able to maintain their lead most of the half, Assumption came out much more aggressively, controlling the ball on the Owls’ side of the field.
“We didn’t really deal with the ball as well in the second half,” said Owls’ head coach Tom Lang. “They put us under a lot more pressure, we gave away the ball a great deal and as a result they found a way to get back into the game.”
The Owls were still in a good position to win, still up 1-0 with under ten minutes to play. However, it was a goal from Assumption’s junior midfielder, Kevin Hernandez, on an assist from senior Jason Lages in the 82nd minute that ticketed the game for overtime.
The extra period of play would not even last a minute, as Lages would score the winning goal for Assumption 56-seconds in. The Greyhounds led the Owls in just about every offensive category: they recorded 13 shots to the Owls’ seven, nine shots on goal to the Owls’ six as well as three corner kicks compared to zero from Southern. The Owls also committed 13 fouls.
“You’re always looking to improve, it’s not just the defense,” said Lang. “It’s the whole team together needs to get a little bit better in certain areas and we’re still a bit of a work-in-progress yet, but I thought overall, specifically the back four, held their own and did well, but when you’re under a great deal of pressure like that, eventually you get punished.”
Assumption came into the game ranked 10th in the East Region of the United States Soccer Coaches Regional Rankings and with their win against Southern, they moved up to 7th in the latest poll. Regardless of what the polls say, there is confidence among Owls players that they are still a team to beat despite their rough start and nagging injuries.
“It was just overall an unlucky night for us,” said defender Noah Rattet, a senior. “I felt we were coming off as the better team. Once we have a full team, I feel like there’s really no one that can beat us.”
The Owls made a notable change in their lineup at the start of the game, as their goalkeeper, freshman Andre Carvalho of Sao Paulo, Brazil, would make his collegiate debut. Carvalho is the second man to start in goal for the Owls so far through four games.
Other than the two goals he let in, Carvalho would look sharp for most of the game, as he made seven stops on nine attempts.
Lang, who spoke briefly of Carvalho’s debut, said he was “fine” but would not commit to Carvalho as his goalkeeper going forward.
“We’re still kind of figuring some things out,” said Lang. “We’re looking at things and evaluating things just like we do after every game so that’s what we’ll continue to do going forward.”