Men’s soccer furthers losing streak with 3-0 loss to Marist

Persistent Eagles couldn’t match Marist’s strong offense

Men’s soccer furthers losing streak with 3-0 loss to Marist

Sophomore Tim Neumann places the ball for a free kick in a photo taken from the 2016 season.

The American University men’s soccer team fell short against the Marist College Red Foxes, undone by two first-half goals before ultimately losing 3-0 at Reeves Field Thursday afternoon.

Two saves by Marist's senior goalkeeper, Mark Rajovic, in the first nine minutes set the tone for the afternoon game. For 90 minutes, AU (1-4-0) just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. 

“It feels good because we’re getting these chances [to score],” senior forward Vinny Barone said. “It shows we’re playing well. It stings because we want to get them in the back of the net.”

Though AU recorded more shots than Marist (16-11), they continually failed to find a way past Rajovic. Freshman forward Jerry Zouantcha and sophomore midfielder Matt Gillis both blazed shots over the crossbar midway through the first half, compounding the Eagles’ offensive struggles.

The Eagles ended 2016 as regular season champions. They finished 11-5-5, falling short in the Patriot League championship to Colgate. However, they’ve begun the 2017 season losing four of their first five matches by two goals or more. Head coach Todd West said these tough games will prepare his team for the Patriot League.  

“These are the best pre-season games [before the Patriot League] we could ask for before we go to Boston [University] in two weeks,” West said after the game. “It’s a work in progress. Call me crazy, but you can hold me to my words, we’re going to be good when we go to Boston University.”

The Eagles nearly found the scoresheet with Gillis making a shot with only a half-hour remaining. He hit the crossbar, leaving the Eagles trailing 2-0.

West thought “maybe if [the game] gets to 2-1, everyone will get a little energy,” he said after the match ended. “I keep telling [Gillis] to do the right thing and one of those [shots] is going to go in.”

While AU struggled to find the back of the net, Marist capitalized on their goal-scoring opportunities. Sophomore goalkeepers John Mino and Will McCreight split time for the Eagles, and West said he feels his goalkeepers could have done better on the goals that were scored.

Allen Gavilanes scored Marist’s first goal 20 minutes into the first half with an assist from Juan Parada. Samad Bounthong scored the second goal, unassisted, less than two minutes later. Marist padded their lead with a goal by Brendan Gallivan with less than 20 minutes left in the match.

“You have to give Marist credit because they scored,” West said. “But if you look at it from our standpoint, [Marist’s first goal] was a soft goal. We gave up the first one and our keeper, who has made some saves for us, knows it was a soft goal. It’s a little deflating when you know you have to play a perfect game and then you gift a goal like that.”

The Eagles will continue their season against Binghamton at noon Monday at Reeves Field.

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