Terriers’ NEC title quest off to rough start
Fall to 1-3 in conference play with 1-0 home loss to Merrimack
What began as a year the St. Francis Brooklyn men’s soccer team appeared primed to reclaim its throne atop the Northeast Conference has instead morphed into a second straight challenging season for the Terriers.
After going 4-1-1 in non-conference action, Head Coach Tom Giovatto’s squad sunk to a disappointing 1-3 in NEC play Sunday with a 1-0 loss to Merrimack at Brooklyn Bridge Park, dropping the Terriers (5-4-1) into eighth place in the 10-team league.
Only the top four teams in the conference will battle for the right to go through to the NCAA Tournament during next month’s NEC Tournament.
SFC outshot the conference-leading Warriors (6-3-2, 4-0 NEC) 8-5 and earned nine corner kicks to Merrimack’s three.
But the Terriers’ best chance of getting on the board eluded them in the 10th minute of action as junior defender Vicente Gallardo’s header on net was handled by Warriors goalkeeper Lucas Rezende.
Freshman netminder Callum James made a pair of saves and Gallardo, senior midfielder Amir Islami and sophomore forward El Mahdi Youssoufi, the team’s top scorer with five goals this year, each had two shots apiece for SFC, which has dropped three in a row since winning its conference opener.
The Terriers, who won four of six NEC championships before failing to reach the conference tournament in 2018, are in peril of missing out on the playoffs again this year unless they turn things around quickly.
Their first opportunity to do so will come Friday night under the lights at the Poly Prep Country Day School in Bay Ridge against visiting Bryant. The Terriers will be playing their second and final match of the season on the Dyker Heights pitch, where they felled Manhattan College 3-1 on Sept. 21.
The SFC women’s soccer club continued to make progress during its inaugural campaign in our fair borough but suffered its 13th consecutive loss to open this historic campaign Sunday, dropping a 1-0 decision to Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Program founder and Head Coach Justine Lombardi’s squad suffered its third 1-0 loss in its last four contests despite holding a 16-15 advantage in overall shots and 6-4 edge in shots on goal.
Freshman defender Eva Papista was the only Terrier with a pair of shots on net, but SFC was denied at least a tie in the tightly played contest when the Mount’s Elisabeth Rockhill beat SFC goalie Klil Keshwar with a booming shot over her head from 30 yards out.
The Terriers will take their 14th shot at win No. 1 in program history Friday afternoon at Brooklyn Bridge Park against visiting Bryant.
Over at Brooklyn College, the men’s soccer team appeared on the verge of its second straight victory Saturday afternoon before suffering a stunning 2-1, double-overtime defeat to visiting CUNYAC rival John Jay College.
The Bulldogs (2-11, 2-3 CUNYAC) missed a prime opportunity to climb above .500 in conference play when the Bloodhounds’ Dilshod Baymatov scored with only seconds remaining in regulation to spoil BC’s celebration.
Nicholas Towler gave John Jay (5-7, 3-2) the win with just 18 seconds left in the second OT after scoring on a penalty kick which came as a result of a hard foul in the box by Bulldogs freshman defender Menelik Kaza-Amlak.
Junior midfielder Brian Navarrete scored the lone goal for BC, which will try to get back on the winning track Wednesday afternoon against Medgar Evers College at Brooklyn’s Aviator Sports Complex.
The BC women were blanked 3-0 by Sarah Lawrence on Monday night in Bronxville, N.Y., as the Lady Bulldogs were outshot by a whopping 31-3 count and didn’t manage a single shot on goal en route to their second straight defeat.
Senior goalie Carmen Proffitt stood tall in net despite the overwhelming number of shots, making 14 saves for BC, which held the Gryphons scoreless until the 51st minute.
The Bulldogs (4-8-1, 2-2) will return to CUNYAC action Wednesday evening at Lehman College in the Bronx.
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