Men’s Soccer Team Splits First Two Games
By Hank Hahne, Contributing Writer
The Gettysburg Men’s Soccer team started the season off with a 2-1 victory over Whitworth Friday night, but later fell 4-1 against 23rd ranked SUNY Cortland.
Despite the 2-1 score line in the first game, the Bullets dominated possession for most of the game, and had many offensive chances come up short.
The Bullets avoided trailing early as Whitworth had a goal disallowed for offside in the 9th minute. Gettysburg replied in the 13th minute with a nifty penalty kick from junior midfielder Precious Ozoh to open the scoring. Gettysburg continued to put the pressure on Whitworth throughout the half, notably sophomore forward Jonathan Molina, who struck the post from well outside the box, forcing Whitworth’s keeper to come up with a double save near the half’s end. Despite the chances, the scoring stayed at 1-0 into halftime.
Opening the half, Whitworth evened the score at 1 with a goal in the 54th minute by Kyle Cacoyannis. Whitworth’s goalkeeper, Jesus Nunez, kept the visitors in the game, totaling seven saves on the night. Molina broke the tie in the 71st minute with a screamer into the top left corner from the top of the box. However, Molina left the game with a knee injury picked up during his celebration. The remainder of the match was all Gettysburg as the home team put up 20 shots on the night to the visitors’ 8 and junior goalkeeper Thomas Keane only needed to come up with two saves over the 90 minutes.
Junior back Raff Mazzone and the rest of Gettysburg defense were able to stay aggressive throughout the game, making it hard for Whitworth to get chances.
“The last 20 minutes [of the first half] and the whole second half we were really able to exploit them down the weak side when we switched the ball… I thought I worked really well with Precious [Ozoh] to beat guys out wide and get balls into the box,” said Mazzone. “I thought we could’ve had two or three more goals, really.”
The SUNY Cortland match on Saturday was a much different atmosphere. Gettysburg seemed to be carrying the previous night’s momentum into the match when junior defender Bobby Weikert put away a corner kick from sophomore Sam Lerman with a towering header in the 7th minute. Afterwards, the match was all SUNY Cortland as the visitors equalized in the 27th minute and scored three times in the second half.
Despite the score, the Bullets showed life throughout the match, but couldn’t capitalize on the chances they carved out of the Cortland defense. Gettysburg put up 12 shots to Cortland’s 17. After the match, Weikert commented on how things didn’t click after his initial goal. “I thought [the goal] would pick them up, but [the loss] [is] just something we have to sort out as a team. We know what we did wrong. We know what we need to fix.”
The team is optimistic for the season ahead, and rightly so. Junior Raff Mazzone described this season as a “revenge year” in the Centennial Conference after last year’s 1-0 loss in the playoff semifinals.
The men’s soccer team is back in action with two games this weekend as they take on The College of New Jersey on Saturday and Rutgers-Newark on Sunday in Ewing, NJ.
- Jonathan Molina (1)
- Precious Ozoh (1)
- Bobby Weikert (1)
- Sam Lerman (2)
- Connor Fife (1)
- Thomas Keane (.583)