St. Francis men’s soccer drops home opener to Manhattan
The St. Francis College men’s soccer team lost for the first time ever at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Tuesday when Manhattan College scored a disappointingly soft goal and won 1-0 in double overtime in SFC’s home opener.
“We didn’t lose here at all last year and we didn’t give up too many goals either,” said Terriers head coach Tom Giovatto. “It’s really frustrating especially since we had a nice crowd and it ended on a stupid goal like that. That was a terrible goal we gave up, a once-in-a-lifetime type goal that you just don’t see too often.”
Manhattan’s game-winning goal, scored in the 103rd minute, was especially frustrating because no one on the Jaspers put it in. A poor clearance bounced off a St. Francis player and went into its net for an own goal to end the game.
The Terriers are now 0-2 to start their season and have dropped both games despite getting more shots on goal than their opponents.
“This is the second game in a row where we outshot teams, we just can’t find the back of the net,” said team captain Andy Cormack. “Something has got to click soon. Lots of changes from last year, but it’s no excuse. We brought in plenty of good strikers. We are just having a hard time at the moment.”
The Terriers had plenty of chances Tuesday night. The best chance came just as time expired in regulation as sophomore Nyle Patel rocketed one from deep in the box on the left side that was redirected and sailed just over the net.
They had a great chance to win it in the first overtime too when freshman Vincent Bezecourt drove a shot from the top of the box that hit off the crossbar for a painful denial in the 98th minute.
“It was absolutely frustrating,” Giovatto said. “Chance after chance we got. We need to get hot and get hot soon to get on a nice roll. I think we’re playing well, doing some nice things, we’re just not getting the finish at the right time and have given up some silly goals.”
Part of the issue right now seems to be that the Terriers are still trying to establish a rapport with each other after they lost their three best scorers from last year’s Northeast Conference title winning team — Kevin Correa, Gabriel Bagot and Viktor Bakkioui.
“The forwards are new, the attacking midfielders are new and that’s a big triangle right there,” Giovatto said. “It’s a new group. They’re playing well, we’re just a little bit off right now.”
The fact that the Terriers are outshooting, and outplaying opponents, while the young players Paten and Bezecourt look promising is a bit of a silver lining. This is a team that expects to defend its NEC title, though, and they want to get on track as soon as possible.
The Terriers will look for their first win of the season this weekend when they head to Vermont for the Windjammer Classic hosted by the University of Vermont. They will face the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Friday and then the University of Vermont on Sunday. They don’t play again in Brooklyn until Tuesday, Sept. 16 against Howard University.
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