Men's soccer ties Holy Cross, will play to share league title
One hundred and ten minutes after the start of the men’s soccer match against the College of the Holy Cross, the scoreboard at Reeves Field remained blank as the AU Eagles could not find the back of the net in a 0-0 draw.
“I think the thing for us is we’ve been having chances in a lot of our last few games, even [Saturday] we had a lot of chances,” senior goalie Matt Makowski said. “So I think that was the thing for us is we wanted to keep producing those chances. We were hoping [Saturday] to get a goal and break the habit of playing really well but not necessarily getting the results we want.”
The Crusaders kept to their gameplan of keeping the Eagles in front of them and playing a possession-based game, according to AU Head Coach Todd West. Despite this, the Eagles created chances as they outshot Holy Cross seven to three at halftime and had earned six corner kicks.
In the second half, Holy Cross increased their opportunities to score and had shot attempts. With under 20 minutes remaining in regulation, Makowski punched out a Holy Cross header attempt off of a service into the box, but when it hit the ground Makowski was forced to make a kick save before freshman Patrick Mehlert headed the ball out. That was one of Makowski’s three game-saving stops.
In overtime AU continued to add to their 15 shots in regulation. Senior Nick Kapus chipped the ball to Mike Worden whose left-footed shot was saved. On the ensuing corner kick, defender Seth Goldman’s header was punched off the crossbar by Holy Cross goalie Evan Polanik. Worden ended the game with seven shots and two shots on goal.
AU entered the contest with 10 points and a 3-1-1 Patriot League record. The Eagles are third in the Patriot League, but despite 20 totals shots in the game, the Eagles have scored only one goal in their last five matches.
“We keep saying you’ve got to make your luck but we created a lot of chances and for some reason we were not able to find the goal,” West said.
The Eagles will travel to New York next Saturday to face Colgate University in the regular season finale. With a win, the Eagles can share the Patriot League regular season title, but they will have to avenge last season’s 1-0 loss to Colgate.
West challenged his team to make that happen despite having five of their last six games go into double overtime.
“I told them if we feel sorry for ourselves nothing’s going to change,” West said. “If we decide to roll our sleeves up and grab our lunch pail and go back to work then I think we have a chance to beat Colgate next week.”