By Ann Brunn
The men’s soccer team kicked off October with a win over Rutgers University-Camden and a draw against William Paterson University, improving to 9-2-2 overall and 1-1-2 against New Jersey Athletic Conference opponents.
On Oct. 2, the Lions bested Rutgers-Camden under the lights of Lions’ Stadium by a score of 2-0.
The Lions struck first in the 30th minute when sophomore defenseman Dante Bettino connected on a header assisted by freshman midfielder Luke Yates to give the College a 1-0 advantage, marking Bettino’s fourth of the season.
Junior goalkeeper Daniel Mecadon came up with a save in the 35th minute when Rutgers-Camden had a shot on goal.
Mecadon then came up big again three minutes later to keep Rutgers-Camden scoreless.
The rain came pouring down just as the second half began. But the monsoon didn’t deter the Lions.
In the 69th minute, freshman forward Justin Dominique was fouled by the Rutgers-Camden goalkeeper inside of the box.
Bettino intercepted a pass on the sideline, which he was able to center to Dominique, allowing for senior midfielder Michael Maltese to send in a penalty kick and stretch the Lions’ lead to 2-0 while claiming his third goal of the season.
The Lions’ defensive unit was able to contain Rutgers-Camden for the rest of the match and seal the win. The team outshot Rutgers-Camden 16-15. Mecadon collected six saves that night, as well as his third shutout of the year.
On Oct. 5, the men tied with William Paterson University by a score of 2-2 at Lions’ Stadium. William Paterson scored first in the 26th minute and added to its lead to begin the second half, but the Lions refused to surrender.
Junior midfielder Kevin Esteves sent a pass to Dominique, who went one-on-one with a William Paterson defender, ultimately sending a pass in from 13 yards out of the net and giving the Lions their first goal of the afternoon. The goal was Dominique’s third score of the season.
The equalizer for the Lions came in the 62nd minute, when sophomore midfielder Ryan Santos connected on pass to Yates, who punched it in from the left post and collected his third goal on the year.
Neither team was able to break the 2-2 score and the match was sent into overtime. In the second overtime, Dominique had a shot on goal, but it was deflected by the William Patterson goalkeeper.
With nine seconds left in the game, William Paterson got called for a handball, which allowed the Lions to attempt a free kick that Esteves sent in. But the William Paterson goalkeeper saved it, ending the match in a 2-2 tie. Mecadon had four saves on the afternoon, while the Lions held a 24-15 advantage in shots.
On Saturday, Oct. 12, the men tied with Kean University by a score of 1-1 at Lions Stadium. The draw pushed the Lions to an overall record of 9-2-3 and 1-1-3 in NJAC play.
In the 20th minute, junior midfielder Ryan Vazquez took a header off a free kick that was heading towards the top of the net, but the Kean goalkeeper came up with the Kean scored first in the 67th minute to take a 1-0 lead, but the Lions answered back in the 83rd minute when freshman defenseman Joseph Schlageter scored his first collegiate goal off a loose ball from a shot attempt by Bettino.
Dominique had a shot in the 86th minute that sailed just outside of the right post, sending the match into overtime minutes later. Vazquez had a chance to seal the win for the Lions with just under a minute left in the second overtime, but his shot was sent just high of the goal. Mecadon collected five saves on the night for the Lions.
The men will be back on the road for an NJAC game against Stockton University tonight at 7 p.m. They will then take on NJAC opponent New Jersey City University on the road on Saturday, Oct. 19.