Men’s Soccer Loss Against Ramapo in First Conference Game
The Men’s Soccer team took a tough 1-0 home loss at the hands of the visiting Ramapo Roadrunners this Saturday afternoon, Sept. 24. It was the first conference game in the New Jersey Athletic Conference for both teams, as Ramapo now goes 1-0 in conference play, and the College at 0-1. This was the Lion’s fourth loss on the season, bringing them to a respectable 4-4-1 record, and Ramapo was awarded their first victory, giving them a 1-4-1 record.
Ramapo’s freshman defender Gavin Mullin headed in the only goal of the game in the 23 minute following a beautifully taken corner kick from junior Osbin Mendez. The goal was Mullin’s first of the season, and the assist was Mendez’s first this season.
The College’s star of the game had to be junior goalie Julien Franco, who recorded eight saves on the day and made numerous important plays to stop goal scoring chances for Ramapo and keep his team in a close game. “It was a tough loss,” said midfielder JJ Zaun, a freshman who is undeclared, “but we just have to keep working and bounce back on Wednesday. The NJAC has a long season and everyone is competitive.” The previously winless Ramapo squad came out to play early on in the game, surprising College players and spectators. They played better than their record, and managed to take control of the first half. Ramapo held possession the majority of the half, and outshot the home team eleven shots, with six on goal, to the Lion’s five shots, with three on goal.
Even though Ramapo had the ball for the bulk of the first half, the College still had their fair share of scoring opportunities early on. In the eighth minute of the game, junior engineering management major and midfielder Bobby Hunter had a shot that almost went in, but ricocheted off the left post. The Lions were able to regather the ball after the missed shot, and ten seconds later freshman midfielder Massimo Rodio took an impressive shot on goal, but it was saved by Ramapo’s senior goalie Matthew Wilcox.
The second half provided more excitement, but did not provide any goals. Both the College and Ramapo played well to start the half, and seemed to split possession between each other early. However, in the 16 minute, Ramapo’s goalie Matthew Wilcox was given a red card for diving at Lions senior striker Justin Dominique’s legs on a one on one chance about 25 yards away from the goal. Wilcox had to stay out for the remainder of the game and will also be suspended for Ramapo’s next game against Rutgers-Camden on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
The red card seemed to light a fire under the College’s team, as for the final 30 minutes of the game, they had the ball for almost all of it. There were many opportunities to tie the game, as the College had seven corners in the last 30 minutes and seemed to always have the ball enter the 18 yard box, but nothing ended up materializing for the Lions.
Men’s Soccer will now turn to their next match at Kean University on Wednesday night, Sept. 28 where the Lions will look for their first conference win of the year. “Today was obviously a very disappointing performance, everyone is aware of that,” said the team’s junior captain midfielder Bobby Hunter, who is majoring in engineering. He stated that the team will hold good practices to improve upon their errors. “Instead of focusing on today’s game and the negatives that came out of it, we need to leave it in the past and focus on winning our next game against Kean.”