Men’s soccer breaks overtime struggles
Kenny Baah — Contributor
The men’s soccer team broke their 4-game losing streak with a 1-0 win in overtime against the Saint Anselm Hawks in an NE10 conference game.
Looking to bounce back after the loss against the University of Bridgeport on Oct. 16, the Owls’ dominated possessions in the first half, creating many chances from crosses out wide as they recorded five shots compared to the Saint Anselm’s three shots. Saint Anselm almost took the lead with four minutes left in the half from a freekick, but a save from goalkeeper Ian Shannon, a senior, kept the Owls in the game and gave him his first shutout. At the end of the half, the game was knotted at zero.
The Owls’ kept up the momentum in the second half with 14 more shots, eight of which were on target. Saint Anselm once again came close to scoring, this time hitting post after a deflection from Owls defender Jonathan Foster, a sophomore. The winning goal came from midfielder Blaise Haba, a senior, in the second minute of overtime. Haba dribbled past a defender in the right side of the 18-yard box and shot the ball into the bottom left corner of the net for his first goal of the season. Haba credits the win to the team’s spirit on and off the field.
“Just like the coaches said: come out here [and] give everything we had,” said Haba. “We played the first 45 [minutes], we couldn’t score. [In the] second half we couldn’t score. At the end of the game we just believed in ourselves, and I just kept working towards [the win] until we got a goal.”
This was the Owls’ first win in overtime this season, as they move up to a 3-5-4 record this year — 2-4-2 in the NE10. They are now 15-3-1 in the all-time series against the Hawks. Team captain and forward Devante Texeira, a senior, mentioned how important the game was in keeping their playoff hopes alive.
“It’s a must-win [game]. We’ve had a recent slump of negative results, and we’re fighting to be a top eight team in the conference to make the playoffs, and this a first huge step, and we have four more games to go,” said Texeira.
This win takes the Owls up two spots to ninth in the NE10 ranking, with four games left in the season. The Owls face American International College on Oct. 25 in the first of a three-game road trip that also includes Bentley University and Southern New Hampshire University. They return home on Nov. 6 to close out the season against Le Moyne College.
Owls head coach Tom Lang said he also hopes this result could help turn around their season, in which they have struggled to find a good run of results throughout.
“As we move forward towards the end of the year, we just need to build upon this performance here and make sure that this becomes a standard that we set for ourselves,” said Lang, “because there’s still a lot of games to be played in the conference that hopefully we can put ourselves in a position where we’ll be challenging for a conference playoff position.”
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