Men’s soccer lands in another overtime draw
Tamonda Griffiths — Editor-in-Chief
The men’s soccer team was able to hold their own in a tied, double-overtime game against the No. 1 nationally ranked Adelphi University.
“It’s about getting the ball forward into their end and sometimes your opponents have something to say,” said head coach Tom Lang. “You can have all the strategy that you want in the world, but sometimes they don’t always fall for it.”
Lang said much of his strategy for the first half of the game was coming out aggressively in order to actively keep the ball in the back of Adelphi’s defense.
The team seemed to follow this strategy, as they had a total of six shots during the first period, three of which were direct shots on Adelphi’s goal. The first goal of the night was not scored until the second half of the game, in the 86th minute of play, by midfielder Daniel Utgaard, a sophomore.
“The most important thing is that we scored, and it was a great cross from Kevin [Van der Pol],” said Utgaard, “and we were just happy that we scored.”
Utgaard secured the ball in the back of the net after it was redirected off the crossbar, following a cross from defender Kevin Van der Pol, a junior. This was Utgaard’s third goal of the season, having previously scored in games against the New York Institute of Technology on Sept. 11 and Assumption College on Sept. 17.
“I feel like I have a good, a good right foot,” said Utgaard. “I feel like, if I have the chance to take a shot, I will definitely try and score. It doesn’t always go in, but sometimes [I’m] lucky enough to score, and today was one of [those] days.”
Almost immediately following Southern’s goal, with just 24 seconds left in what was meant to be the final half of the game, Adelphi scored sending, the game into overtime.
Lang said the “mental breakdown” at the end of the game cost the team the chance to win.
“It was really disappointing,” said goalkeeper, Andrey Carvalho, a freshman from Brazil. “I couldn’t believe [it], but we had to keep our heads straight.”
According to Carvalho, the strategy going into the match was to avoid long balls, but that quickly dissipated in overtime.
“On the overtime, everyone [wants] to win, so we just [were] doing long balls,” said Carvalho.
Having to stay back in goal for the majority of a match, Carvalho has a “privileged vision” of the entire field. Carvalho said he often talks to his teammates who hang back on their side of the field to help them stay organized and focused on the match.
The game, Lang said, was a “tremendous character builder” for the team, and while he would rather avoid overtime, he would also consider it “a step in the right direction.”
“You don’t want to get to overtime, first and foremost, if that can be avoided,” said Lang. “It just means we’re competitive in each of the games and that we’re difficult to beat, but at the same point in time we have to learn how to win those close games.”