By Justin Rimpi and Anthony Covino
Managing Editor and Sports Editor
The FDU men’s soccer team has seen their cinderella 2019 season come to an end after they were defeated 1-0 by the University of New Hampshire Wildcats in Durham, N.H. on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA College Cup.
New Hampshire took the lead in the 76th minute when freshman midfielder Bilal Kamal took a shot from outside the box that struck the back of the net. This was his fifth shot of the game and he finally was able to convert.
One goal was all the Wildcats would need in order to advance in the College Cup.
This was New Hampshire’s 25th shot of the game and it was the shot that gave them the cushion they needed to hold off FDU for the last 15 minutes of the game.
Fairleigh Dickinson junior goalkeeper Jahmali Waite was named the National Player of the Week due to his masterful performance in the NEC tournament. Waite saved 6-of-9 penalty kicks to help propel the Knights into the College Cup.
He was great once again on Thursday, saving 6 shots from UNH while suffering from an apparent lower leg injury which caused multiple stoppages in the game. His performance though was not enough to push FDU over the edge.
Waite was tested all night as the Wildcats took 26 shots in the game.
The attacking style by the Wildcats took a toll on FDU’s defense as UNH played a majority of the game from the Knight’s side of the field.
The Knight’s best, and last, chance to tie the game came in the 88th minute when junior forward Diego Arribas saw his shot saved by Wildcat goalkeeper Alejandro Robles.
Robles saved 4 shots in the game.
FDU could only muster up 6 shots in the game, their third-lowest output of the season
The game became chippy in the second half when redshirt sophomore defender Adrian Barajas, and UNH graduate student defender James Thomas, both were given yellow cards in the course of two minutes.
The attacking style by the Wildcats to begin the game placed the onus on the Knight’s to defend, and the Knights were unable to develop any sort of offensive rhythm in the early part of the game. This was a theme throughout the entirety of the game for FDU.
The Wildcats defense would swarm the ball whenever the Knight’s tried to kick start their sluggish offense.
The physicality between the two sides was a hallmark of the game. The referees seemed content to let the outcome be decided on the field, and not by the whistle of a referee.
Waite fell to the turf with an apparent injury in the 23rd minute, but was able to remain in the game.
The score at halftime was 0-0. New Hampshire had complete control of the ball in the first half as they took a total of 14 shots, while FDU took only 2. Waite was tested the first half with shots from New Hampshire coming from all over the field.
FDU had to establish an offensive presence heading into the second half, and start taking more shots and get into the box. This would create chances in order for FDU upset the heavily-favored Wildcats.
They were unable to do so and their 2019 season came to a bitter end.