Men’s soccer drops key matchup versus LIU

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Men’s soccer drops key matchup versus LIU

Zachary Somma, Contributor

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MOON TOWNSHIP– The RMU men’s soccer team (4-10-2, 3-4-1 NEC) did not help their chances of making the NEC Tournament with their 3-0 loss to LIU (8-6-1, 5-1-1 NEC) on Friday. The last home game of the season for the Colonials was marred with frustration for the home side, as they failed to convert any of their chances throughout.

The whole team got off to a rough start early against the Sharks, as LIU came out of the gates flying. Their quick and speedy play gave the Colonials fits throughout the game, especially early on, leading to a free-kick chance for Kyle Parish in the third minute of the game. Redshirt freshman Keaton Jennings made his first start for the Colonials in his career and, like the rest of the team, seemed shaky early as he bobbled the bouncy free-kick which entered the net to make it 1-0 early for the Sharks.

The Colonials’ woes continued into the 15th-minute where a blatant foul in the box gave dangerous striker Papa Ndoye a penalty kick, which he converted to put the Sharks up 2-0.

The entire forward core of LIU gave RMU problems all day, including Ndoye, who consistently beat defenders to balls and had great communication between each other. The offensive end in the first half did not go much better for RMU, as many of their passes were either led way too far ahead, misplayed entirely, and overall killed any momentum RMU would get through possession.

The Colonials showed improvement coming out of halftime and into the second half, but solid defense from the Sharks kept them from many of the scoring areas and kept scoring chances to a minimum. The real killer came with 20 minutes left in the game when Jonas Dovland pulled a beautiful move around Oeyvind Skjesol and blasted one past Jennings to make it 3-0. Jennings would later come out of the game with an injury after a collision in the box off of a free kick; replaced by senior Christian Snatchko.

The Sharks kept a tight defense for the rest of the match and held on to the 3-0 victory to seal their bid into the NEC Tournament. The Colonials left the field quickly after the match, insanely frustrated and disappointed by their effort. Their playoff hopes now hinge on getting some help from others. St. Francis Brooklyn (7-5-1, 3-4-0 NEC) and Fairleigh Dickinson (6-7-2, 2-3-2 NEC) trail only one and two points behind RMU respectively, and both have two matches remaining in their season. The Colonials, meanwhile, only have one match to play left; a road game against St. Francis University (9-5-0, 6-2-0 NEC) who currently sit first overall in the conference.

 

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