The men’s soccer team has hit a frustrating bump in its season, losing 2-1 in overtime to both Liberty University Sept. 9 and Syracuse University Sept. 11.
Liberty overcomes deficit to beat AU
The matchup against the Liberty Flames (2-1) started off with AU playing heavy defense while Liberty’s strong offensive attack kept the ball on the AU side for a majority of the opening period.
After an opening half that saw neither team push across a goal, an energized AU squad flipped the script and controlled possession in the Liberty side of the field at the start of the second half. After 68 minutes, Mark Wysocki scored his first goal of the season, and the first of the game, to put AU up 1-0.
“There were spots in this game where we were good, and we were able to connect and find each other, and move ourselves down the field and get opportunities,” Wysocki said.
The AU celebration didn’t last long, however, as just six minutes later Liberty’s Chris Phillips responded with a goal of his own. The two teams were able to stave off any more goals, ending the second half with a 1-1 tie after 90 minutes.
That score held through the first period of overtime, as 10 minutes passed without any goals. But with just two minutes left in the second overtime session, Darren Amoo scored the golden goal for Liberty. A first team all-Big South selection with three goals on the season, Amoo’s strike caused the Eagles to suffer a heartbreaking loss in the team’s home opener.
“I’m furious,” Head Coach Todd West said. “I knew it when we warmed up that we weren’t ready. I don’t think it was a quality performance for a home opener.”
West also cited the team’s lack of effort as one of the major factors contributing to the loss.
“We can control our effort, and we didn’t bring [the] effort that this program is all about,” West said. “They have to look in the mirror, or we’re not going to issue uniforms to guys who aren’t going to bring us the right effort.”
Acknowledging that Liberty outshot AU 13-3 on the afternoon, goalkeeper Matt Makowski said preventing such a large gap is one of the team’s priorities.
“It’s good in one sense, because it keeps you active,” Makowski said. “Obviously that’s a number we don’t want to give up. I think they had some good players, some clever players up front. I would have liked to see two more saves, instead of the number that there was, but it is what it is.”
A four-year player for the Eagles, Makowski made key saves all afternoon to keep the contest tied 1-1.
Eagles defeated in overtime for second straight game
Makowski’s hope didn’t come through in the game against the Orange (2-2), as AU was outshot 23-8. In another match decided in overtime, AU was unable to pull out a win, falling yet again by a score of 2-1.
Six minutes into the first period, Syracuse’s Louis Clark scored the only goal in the first half on Makowski.
With just seven minutes left in the game, the Eagles were able to tie up the score, as Jack Scott found the back of the net for AU. The goal gave Scott his third point of the season, after the senior picked up an assist in AU’s D.C. College Cup victory over George Washington University.
With the score tied at one apiece, AU moved into overtime for the second time in three days.
With the AU offense unable to take any shots on goal, Syracuse’s Nick Roydhouse scored off a free kick for the Syracuse victory. Roydhouse has now found the back of the net in two straight seasons against AU, scoring the Orange’s lone goal in their 2010 2-1 loss to the Eagles.
AU will play its next four games at home, starting with a game on Friday, Sept. 16 against the California State University Fullerton Titans.