The men’s soccer team’s eventful weekend left plenty of reasons to celebrate. A game-winning goal in double overtime and Head coach George Nazario’s 100th win made this one of the most exciting competitions in recent years for the Lions.
The College sustained 2-1 win over the Manhattanville College Valiants. The final point came from senior forward Joe Schneck just 10 seconds before the clock ran out in double over time. Sophomore midfielder Brian Rader provided a difficult assist to set Schneck up for the goal.
“All we were trying to do at that point was get the ball in the box and see what happened,” Schneck said. “It was perfect. Rader stepped up big.”
The Lions (2-1) played the game they expected against the regionally-ranked Valiants.
“We didn’t stay focused enough in the first half,” Schneck said. “In overtime, your body’s starting to fail you and cramp up.”
“It’s tough to stay in it that long,” Rader said. “You have to focus the whole 110 minutes and not give up for one second, because that can let down the whole game.”
Manhattanville’s sophomore forward Scott Vieira opened the scoring with a goal at 44:48, giving the Valients the lead at half time.
Schneck tied it up with the first goal for the Lions at 62:04, assisted by junior midfielder Adam Cooper. The Lions’ defense held the Valiants for the rest of the game.
“Our defense had some tough guys to play against but they were rock solid,” Schneck said.
The win brings Nazario’s career record to 100-55-14. Nazario is in his ninth season at the College.
“He’s very knowledgeable about the game,” Rader said. “He hasn’t been here that long and he’s already got his 100th win, so that says a lot.”
“We’d hoped to have the win earlier in the season,” Schneck said. “But it’s great that he got it this year and we got to be a part of it.”
Lions 9, Cyclones 1
Tuesday’s win may not have been as exciting Saturday’s, but it broke the Lions’ four-game losing streak in their first home game. The team posted a decisive 9-1 win over the Centenary College Cyclones.
Schneck, Rader and sophomore forward Ryan McMann each scored a pair of goals. The wide spread may be impressive, but it came as no surprise to the Lions.
“They’re actually one of the weaker teams on our schedule this year,” Schneck said. “It’s one of those games you have to win.”
“It’s good because everyone gets to play,” he added. “It’s nice to see everyone on the field.”
“The second half was mostly younger defense guys but they took care of everything that needed to be taken care of,” Adams said.
Junior Jim Cooney got the Lions started, scoring at 8:10 with assistance from McMann and Cooper.
Schneck and McMann teamed up to close out the first half with four goals.
“Ryan has been playing great,” Schneck said. “He’s really improved since last year.”
Sophomore midfielder Blayne Adams sank a goal 19 seconds into the first half, assisted by freshman midfielder Chris Gallup.
Freshman Marc Cino provided two assists and Rader closed out the game with his second goal of the night.
Centenary’s lone point came from freshman defender Victor Patrocino.
Lions’ junior goalie Shawn Mecchi made two saves in the first half before yielding to junior goalkeepers Rich Adams and Bret Certruse for the remainder of the game.
“The goalies didn’t have much to do, but that’s a good thing,” Schneck said. “It means the defense is doing its job.”
“We were coming off four losses but this was a good opportunity to get us on the right track and take it from there,” Adams said.
The Lions host Stevens Institute of Technology at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 17. The Lions also host William Paterson University at 1 p.m. on Sept. 20.