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Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024
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Mens Soccer 2

Men’s soccer loses to Loyola after troubled first half

Team will play its final game against Army on Friday

AU men’s soccer fell to Loyola Maryland on Wednesday 4-1 in a tough Patriot League battle. The Eagles had trouble early on, giving up three goals in only the first half.

AU (4-7-4, 3-2-2 PL) looked lost during the game. They struggled to find opportunities to score, finishing with only four total shots, compared to Loyola’s nine total shots.

“We need to play faster,” said head coach Todd West. “Our ball speed was terrible today.”

Loyola’s first goal came from sophomore forward Sam Brown, who assisted on Loyola’s second goal as well, which was scored by junior forward Nico Brown. Loyola’s star player Brian Saramago scored Loyola’s third goal on a penalty kick, which occurred only two and a half minutes after the second goal.

The Eagles came out stronger after halftime, but still gave up a goal to Loyola’s sophomore forward, David Gunter. AU avoided a shutout by a last-minute goal from a penalty kick from junior Fabio Massaro.

“It was 1-1 in the second half, but you can’t go down 3-nil and expect to have a chance to come back and win many games,” West said.

Throughout the game, the Greyhounds were more aggressive than the Eagles. They controlled the flow of the game and pushed hard against the Eagles’ defense.

“Loyola came out and competed from the opening whistle and we didn’t,” West said. “The team I saw Saturday night at Lehigh did not show up today against Loyola.”

The loss comes after a 1-0 win at Lehigh, where the team performed much better. Two Eagles players won awards recently, with junior John Mino winning Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week and sophomore Oscar McConnell winning Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week.

However, the energy that beat Lehigh only days before did not carry over to Wednesday’s game.

“At this time of year, it comes down to mindset and showing up ready to play,” West said. “We didn’t do that today and Loyola did.”

The Eagles played their last home game Saturday against Lafayette, tying 1-1, and will play their final game of the season at Army West Point on Nov. 2.

jwise@theeagleonline.com


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