By Otto Gomez
The College’s men’s soccer team played their last game of the season on Thursday, Oct. 29, in Glassboro, N.J., against conference rival Rowan University in hopes of locking up a playoff spot. The team came up short in the end, falling 2-1 to the Profs.
The team was confident after four straight conference victories. A win here would secure them as one of the six teams heading for the New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament.
Even with the momentum, the Lions could not capitalize and were held scoreless in the first half. Their strong defense kept the opposing Profs off the scoreboard, as well.
Junior goalkeeper Jake Nesteruk was solid, facing eight shots on goal. The game was tied at zero until freshman midfielder Nick Sample was able to collect a rebound off of sophomore forward Michael Kassak’s shot to put the Lions up, 1-0.
With Sample’s goal, the Lions gained back their momentum and took a strong lead. It was not until almost seven minutes left in regulation that the Profs tied the game up with a goal from their freshman forward Derick Carpio.
Since both teams were unable to score in the waning minutes, the game went to sudden death overtime, where the first to score came out victorious. As the period was closing, the Profs were able to win it when their own Shane Kohler connected on a penalty kick, sending Rowan to the playoffs.
It was the Lions’ fifth conference loss and fifth overall this season. Senior captain, defenseman Greg Kaye said that while the loss was heartbreaking, the team still has hope.
“It’s a shame that it ended the way it did, but having experienced these feelings will make the team push harder for a more successful year next year,” Kaye said.
The captain was proud of the season his team had and is looking forward to leaving a strong group for next year. Junior forward Sean Etheridge, who spent a majority of the season hurt, will look to have an even bigger role next year on the team.
“I think we will do better… we had a good season this year, much better than last year, and where we fell short… we will be able to adjust in the offseason,” Etheridge said.
The College ends the season undefeated in non-conference play, and 4-5 in the NJAC. The conference was stiff with competition, but if the team’s record is a sign for the future, the Lions can keep getting stronger.