Men’s soccer triumphs in a furry of referee’s cards.
By JULIAN BELL
(TEANECK) – In a testy rematch that featured six yellows and one red card, the men’s soccer team beat Iona 3-2 on Sept. 9.
Coach Seth Roland said his team needs to keep their composure.
“We need to be more focused, professional, calm, and disciplined for the entire game,” Roland said. “We can’t ever tune out; we have to stay tuned in from the opening whistle to the final whistle. We had some moments where that wasn’t the case, but I give the guys a lot of credit because they came out of everything with a win, and that’s great to see.”
Three yellows were issued in each period, two for FDU and three for Iona. Knights forward Fredinho Mompremier scored a goal earlier in the first, but was issued a red card and thrown out of the match, with only seven minutes remaining.
The Knights (5-1-1) scored two of their goals in the first period, leaving the Gaels desperate to put points on the board.
Roland was proud of his team’s performance, but saw room for improvement.
“We jumped on them at the beginning with two goals in the rst eight minutes,” Roland said. “Jacob’s was a world-class goal, and Freddy’s was an outstanding goal as well. Then, we kind of let them o the hook and let them back into the game.”
Freshman goalkeeper Tiago Capela made three saves on the goal, while to Iona’s Kellar Sirstins came up with two. The Gaels outshot the Knights 10-9, but FDU was more precise with three goals.
Coach Roland said his team was still far from perfect.
“We weren’t as sharp in attack when we went up 2-nil,” Roland said. “We weren’t so disciplined in defense. We fell asleep on a defensive set piece once, and we did it again which allowed them to tie the game.”
The Knights wasted no time, scoring their first goal five minutes into the first period, when freshman forward Jacob Labovitz red a good shot. Mompremier followed suit and made his shot just minutes afterward, putting the Knights up 2-0.
Iona finally found their rhythm when senior defender Joshua Calderon scored a goal 19 minutes into the match, closing 2-1. The teams held each other o for the balance of the period.
The second period got o to a slow start, until the Gaels tied the match at the 72 minute mark. Joshua Calderon scored his second goal of the contest, leveling the score at 2-2.
The Knights weren’t coming away with a tie, and continued attacking the goal. A high shot by Mompremier missed its target. Sophomore mid elder Daniel Lasarte followed suit with a corner kick that also missed.
FDU rose to the occasion in the 84th minute, when sophomore defender Wojciech Piwowarczyk knocked in a goal off an assist by Lasarte. The Knights led 3-2 with the game practically over with under seven minutes remaining.
“In what was a fantastic display of mental toughness,” Roland said, “a few minutes later we came back and won the game.”
Roland sees a bright future for his squad.
“We have a good group of guys,” he said. “They work hard, they’re positive, they’re focused, and so far they’ve been rewarded with wins, and they deserve a lot of credit for that.”