Men’s Soccer Falls to Bryant, Remains Winless in NEC
Future editions of the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary will likely include a photo of this year’s men’s soccer team next to the definition of frustration. Okay, maybe just a short description instead.
The Colonials dropped a 1-0 decision to the Bryant Bulldogs this past Friday, pushing their record in the Northeast Conference to 0-7. It is not for lack of trying, however, as the club has dominated virtually every facet of multiple games this season, except for the one that matters most, the scoreboard.
“It’s truly unbelievable,” said head coach Bill Denniston lightheartedly, while struggling to find the words to describe the situation. “This is the best team we’ve had since we won (the conference championship) in ‘05, and I thought we had a legitimate chance to win it this year, and we’re 0 and 7. It’s hilarious.”
The Bulldogs got on the board just 2:18 into the match with a quick strike from Nicolas Parisi from inside the box. That marker ended up being the game’s only goal, with the Colonials controlling play from that point on.
“There was a little lack of composure in the first couple minutes,” said senior midfielder Justin Turnley. “We weren’t really paying attention and that cost us a goal. Pushing forward as much as we could, I thought we had the majority of the play, but if you don’t put the ball in the net, you can’t win.”
Robert Morris finished with 22 shots, outshooting the Bulldogs by a 2 to 1 margin. Bryant was able to withstand the pressure by deflecting shots or coming up with timely saves.
“You’ve definitely got to give credit to those guys,” said Turnley. “They defended well, deflecting shots, their keeper coming up with some big saves; give credit to them. They got the goal and were able to hold us off.”
The Colonials are guaranteed to miss the Northeast Conference Tournament at this juncture, but with three games remaining on the schedule, the team knows there is nothing to do but keep moving forward.
“At this point we’re just trying to play for pride,” said junior goalkeeper Toba Bolaji, who had four saves against Bryant. “We can’t make the conference tournament now but we’re trying to upset teams.”
“We’re just keeping a positive attitude, or trying to at least. It’s tough.”
“I don’t know how much better we can play,” said Denniston. “I mean, what do we change? The ball has just got to go in the net.”
Turnley tried to stay positive after the game, but the frustration on the afternoon and the season as whole was clearly evident.
“Just the results and the way things have gone are really getting us down,” said the Beaver native. “I guess we’re going to have to push forward and try to keep our heads up.”
The Colonials finish off their home schedule this weekend as they entertain Monmouth on Friday and take on Mt. St. Mary’s on Sunday afternoon which will also be senior day. Both matches commence at the North Athletic Complex.