Brooklyn Boro

Sharks still reeling after legendary run

Defending NEC champions eager to score and win again

October 26, 2022 John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Share this:

Winless in their last four matches and scoreless in their last three, the Long Island University men’s soccer club is aching to rediscover the form that made them Northeast Conference champions a year ago and one of the most potent teams in their region earlier this season.

They’ll have that opportunity on Nov. 3, when they visit Brooklyn Bridge Park to take on arch rival St. Francis Brooklyn as both local programs look to nail down a trip to the NEC Tournament.

The Sharks (9-5-1, 3-3-1 NEC) appeared a safe bet to repeat as NEC champs and return to the NCAA Tournament earlier this month.

LIU won a season-high seven matches in a row from Sept. 10-Oct. 2 and earned a 2-2 draw at Howard on Oct. 9, putting it in control of its own destiny entering the stretch run of the conference schedule.

“We have five regular season games left before the playoffs,” Sharks head coach Michael Mordocco said earier this month. “The games will be getting tougher and we need to be better for 90 minutes.”

But the Sharks haven’t. They’ve lost three straight since and haven’t scored a goal since putting up two on Howard two weeks ago.

On Sunday in Brookville, N.Y., LIU suffered its third straight 1-0 defeat after it had outscored opponents 16-1 during its winning streak.

Junior striker Emil Jaaskelainen, who once led the NCAA with 11 goals and scored at least once in eight consecutive matches, has also been stifled of late along with his teammates.

Alec McLachlan made two saves for his fifth shutout of the year last Sunday, but the Terriers of SFC Brooklyn settled for a scoreless draw with NEC-leading Fairleigh Dickinson. Photo courtesy of SFC Brooklyn Athletics

The Bolton, England native had six shots, but only one on goal during last Sunday’s Senior Day blanking at the hands of Saint Francis University.

“I just need to keep focusing on scoring goals, and hopefully things will pan out and we’ll see,” Jaaskelainen said on the school’s athletic department website as the Sharks prepare to finish the season in style rather than heartbreak after such a strong start.

LIU ranks fourth in the standings, just ahead of SFC (6-4-4, 2-1-3), which is coming off a scoreless draw against conference-leading Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday at BPP.

Both teams are very close to qualifying, but neither thought they would be vying for positioning toward the middle of the standings after one or the other has represented the league in the NCAA College Cup in nine of the last 10 seasons.

The Terriers can climb above the Sharks Sunday, when they host Central Connecticut State in the second leg of a regular season-ending three-game homestand.

On Sunday, SFC netminder Alec McLachlan made two saves en route to his fifth shutout of the season.

Though they rank fifth in the NEC, the Terriers have just one loss in their last nine contests overall, but are currently mired in a four-match (0-1-3) winless skid since reeling off a season-high five consecutive wins.

McLachlan was named an NEC Prime Performer for his efforts last week and boasts a miniscule 0.67 goals-against average through nine appearances.

The Terriers have managed only two goals during their winless skid, which followed a blistering 19-1 scoring run against their previous five opponents.

While neither the Sharks nor the Terriers are playing their best soccer of the season, both will doubtlessly be tough to beat come playoff time.

But first they will test themselves against one another come Nov. 3.

***

Over at Brooklyn College, the women’s soccer team is preparing for Saturday’s CUNYAC Tournament semifinal showdown with No. 2 John Jay.

The Bulldogs (2-2 CUNYAC) earned the No. 3 seed with a 4-0 blanking of Lehman last weekend behind CUNYAC Player of the Week Rachel Gomez’s goal and assist and a pair of saves by goalkeeper Angelina Vasta.

Rachel Gomez and the Brooklyn College women’s soccer club will take on John Jay Saturday in the semifinals of the CUNYAC Tournament. Photo courtesy of BC Athletics

Gomez leads BC with five goals and three assists this season.

The Bulldogs’ men’s program finished the season on a three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) and was scheduled to take on third-seeded Hunter in the opening round of the CUNYAC Tournament at Randall’s Island Wednesday.


Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment