Sharks look to rebound from first loss
LIU falls to Fordham in finale of three-game homestand
The best start in Long Island University men’s soccer in 30 years escaped the Sharks’ grasp in Brookville, N.Y., last Friday, but not without a fight.
Ranked third in the Northeast Region and predicted to win the Northeast Conference title for a second straight year, the Sharks gave up a late goal to suffer a 2-1 loss to Fordham in front of 200 fans at LIU Soccer Park.
Coming off a pair of one-goal victories on their home pitch, the Sharks (2-1) were battling for their first 3-0 start since 1992 against the previously winless Rams (1-1-1).
Despite a lack of front-line fire power with striker Assane Ben Fall out due to injury and fellow forward Emil Jaaskelainen sidelined by his second yellow card in the first half, LIU found itself in a 1-0 hole after Timo Hummrich beat Sharks goaltender Sergio Peralta in the 26th.
Jaaskelainen, who sat out the season-opening win over Stony Brook after receiving a red card in the Sharks’ loss to Saint Louis last season in the second round of the NCAA College Cup, had to watch as LIU hung tough.
Down a man, the Sharks benefited from a hand ball by the Rams and Michael Mollica converted a penalty shot against former LIU standout netminder Demetri Skoumbakis to knot the contest at 1-1.
Though a victory was on the Sharks’ minds, they at least appeared safe to reach an overtime and possibly a draw before the Rams went in front for good when Nathan Simes, who assisted on Hummrich’s tally, scored in the 88th minute.
Skoumbakis, who earned a 4.0 GPA and valedictorian honors during his undergraduate stint at LIU, went to the Bronx campus as a graduate transfer.
He made one save and Peralta stopped three shots for the Sharks, who will try to get back in the win column Wednesday night at Hofstra for their first road game of the campaign.
The St. Francis Brooklyn men’s soccer club appeared headed for its third loss in four games to start the season Sunday Annapolis, Maryland before first-year forward and borough native Caleb Danquah saved the day.
Danquah’s late goal salvaged a 2-2 tie against the Naval Academy before 583 fans at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility, helping the Terriers avert a fruitless two-game road trip that began with Friday’s 4-1 defeat at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
Martin Pallinic got SFC (1-2-1) off to a fast start with his second goal of the year in the fifth minute, but the Midshipmen answered twice in the second half off scores by Baba Kallie and Kevin Hileman.
With time winding down in the second half and the Terriers seemingly headed for a second straight defeat, Khaled Abdella found Danquah entering the box with a feed and the freshman sensation delivered his second of the year off a deflection that evened the score with just over six minutes remaining.
Freshman goalie Alec McLachlan made three saves in his first start for the Terriers, who will be off until Saturday afternoon, when they visit Saint Peter’s in Jersey City, N.J.
The SFC women avoided a three-game losing streak Sunday with a 2-2 draw at St. Bonaventure at the Marra Athletics Complex.
Alina Graf and Lauren Taylor scored their first goals of the year to give the Terriers (1-3-2) a 2-1 lead early in the second half, but Chanel Alexander tallied in the 77th minute to deny SFC its second win of the season.
Klil Keshwar stopped five shots for the Terriers, who will be back in action at Brooklyn Bridge Park for their Sept. 11 showdown with visiting Rider.
Over at LIU, the women’s soccer squad suffered a 2-0 loss at UMBC Sunday for its third straight defeat.
The Sharks (2-4) had won back-to-back games before their recent slump, which has seen them get outscored by an aggregate 8-1.
LIU did outshoot the Retrievers (4-1-1), 11-4, but were unable to score for the second straight contest.
The Sharks will try to get off the schneid Thursday night at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire.
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