Second half woes continue for men’s soccer
By Thomas Albano
After a historic start to the 2013 season, the men have cooled down, being shut out two games in a row, bringing them to a sub .500 record in MAAC play.
Rider will head on the road for the final time this season on Nov. 2 against Siena. The Broncs (7-7-1, 2-4-1 MAAC) come into this matchup with a two-game losing streak, having fallen to Fairfield, 3-0, on Oct. 26.
In the match against Fairfield (6-4-3, 3-2-2 MAAC), the Stags managed to score a goal just a little over three minutes into the game, followed by a second goal two minutes later. Fairfield would tally one more goal, holding a 3-0 lead at the half.
“We came out flat in the beginning of the game and couldn’t handle Fairfield’s pressure,” senior back Eric Elgin said. “We gave up three easy goals early, then we began to fight back, but by then it was too late.”
The Broncs could muster only six shots, while Fairfield managed 16, nine of them on goal.
It could have been worse for the Broncs, but freshman goalkeeper David Pastuna had six saves.
Elgin has been disappointed with the number of early leads the team has surrendered.
“The main thing we can take away from the Fairfield game is that we need to make sure we are aggressive right from the start of the game,” Elgin said. “Prior to this last game, we did a pretty good job of not conceding early goals. We need to get back to being hungry to compete hard, right from the opening whistle.”
Next on the schedule for the Broncs is a game against Siena in Loudonville, N.Y., on Nov. 2, the final road game for the Broncs this season. This will be followed by the final two games of the season at home the following week.
Junior forward Ryan Walsh hopes his team can start strong and not have to play from behind.
“As a team, we have to make sure we come out with the right mentality against Siena on Saturday,” he said. “We have to battle for every loose ball and make sure that we are the team that comes up with the early goal. It is much easier to play with a lead then it is to come back from a deficit.”
Elgin went on to point out the Broncs need to be at their best, as right now they are in a struggle for a spot in the playoffs.
“We are fighting for our season at this point and have to win out in order to even have a shot at the playoffs,” Elgin said. “I am confident that we will compete much harder against Siena.”
Walsh agreed, saying the team will be doing a lot of practice to get ready.
“We still have a chance to make the MAAC tournament, but it starts with a win against Siena,” he said. “We have to take one game at a time and try to stack some wins together. We will have a good week of practice and we’ll be ready to go against Siena.”