Men's soccer loses to Hoyas
Men's Soccer lost its home opener against cross-city rival Georgetown University Hoyas in the opening game of the D.C. Challenge tournament on Saturday 1-0, despite dominating most of the game.
The Hoyas took revenge for last year's 2-1 loss against American on a header from senior Charles Beyer in the 38th minute. Freshman Carl Skanderup assisted on the goal on a throw-in. Both Skanderup and Beyer were early substitutes for Georgetown.
The game, which was the first for Todd West as the head men's soccer coach, saw AU outshoot the Hoyas 17-9. U.S. National team member and AU sophomore Nino Marcantonio had three shots, which nearly reached the back of the net, however Georgetown's sophomore goalkeeper Brian O'Hagan wrapped them up as part of his five saves.
The loss is the first blemish for the Eagles, who early in the year lost their head coach Bob Jenkins. Jenkins had been the second longest serving coach in the Athletic Department behind Women's Volleyball coach Barry Goldberg.
The Eagle reported over the summer that Jenkins left AU to move to Vermont to explore employment opportunities closer to his family.
"Whenever the head coach leaves, it takes awhile to readjust," AU alumnus and soccer analyst Robert Sphuler said. "I get the sense that the team does trust West and his judgement."
Men's Soccer is tied for fifth place in their conference along with the University of Richmond in a Colonial Athletic Association preseason poll. The team also received one first place vote. Other teams receiving first place votes include William & Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University and James Madison University.
"There was a lot of talent that graduated last year in the CAA," Sphuler said. "The league is really up for grabs this year."
The Eagles took the field yesterday against Liberty University in the consolation match for the D.C. challenge tournament. The Eagles played at noon at Georgetown University. Liberty lost Saturday's game to George Washington University 4-1. The Colonials pounded in three goals in the second half and two goals in the final 10 minutes to bury Liberty.
The Eagles will continue this week at Princeton University. They return to Washington, D.C. later in the week and take on the University of Pennsylvania on Sunday at Reeves Field.
For the Eagles to be successful this season they must maintain their offensive production from last season, Sphuler said. He added that the Eagles can not afford to make costly defensive mistakes like they did last season.
Returning 10 starters this season will contribute to the Eagles momentum as they return to form against the rest of the CAA. AU kicks off its conference schedule on Sept. 17 with a match at William & Mary. Last year The Eagles finshed 5-2-1 in the CAA and finished third in the conference despite last year's preseason poll which picked them to finished last.