By Christopher Boulay
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – CCSU men’s soccer team were beaten 2-0 in the first stop of their weekend road trip at Sacred Heart.
Pioneer midfielder Norman Baer sealed the Blue Devils’ fate in the 70th minute when he scored off of a diving header from a Lusiano Dadario cross.
“Until we stamp out those stupid goals that we keep giving away, we’re just going to keep losing. Simple as,” Cavener said. “It’s our own fault again. Alright, they won the game, but they weren’t anything special. I thought we could have won the game, but it’s our own fault.”
CCSU played with a new formation for the match, switching from a 4-4-2 to a 4-5-1, something that in the first half looked to be a good change. The Blue Devils had some opportunities, namely a beautiful piece of passing from Connor Smith and Eduardo Ortiz to captain Robert Cavener, but Cavener could not direct it into the net. With only one shot on goal in the first half, the momentum shifted permanently into Sacred Heart’s favor.
“We started off the game really well, I thought,” Coach Shaun Green said. “Until they scored I thought we dominated the play. We did everything but convert our opportunities.”
Patrick Daka opened the scoring for the Pioneers (6-4-1, 3-1-1) in the 42nd minute on a pass from Nemanja Filimonovic on a breakaway that deflected off of a diving Chris Jones.
Sacred Heart keeper Alex Jones made three saves for his shutout. Jones made his
first start of the season in net for the Blue Devils, making four saves.
Regarding going down 1-0 right before halftime, Green said, “The whole dynamics of the game changes now because [Sacred Heart] comes out of the locker room with something to fight for.”
Both goals showed the glaring defensive lapses that have plagued the team this season. Defender Jessie Menzies was disappointed with the play from the back line and believes that the lack of composure in defense is costing points for the team.
“It’s not that they score on us, it’s our mistakes that cost us the goals,” Menzies said. “We have to stay focused, it’s what’s killed us every game. If we do that, and our forwards score more goals, then this could be a special season.”
Jared Spieker received a yellow card in the 60th minute, when he held a Pioneer striker on a potential breakaway. Raphael Guimaraes and Sacred Heart midfielder Denis Brunotte were both given yellow cards for an altercation in the 71st minute.
CCSU also lost at Fairleigh Dickinson Sunday, with the score 5-1.
The two losses leave the Blue Devils (6-5-1, 1-3-1) with four points in the conference out of a possible 15.
CCSU’s lone goal came from Eduardo Ortiz goal assisted by Robert Cavener. Serge Zulu, Kenley Mathurin, Paul King, Dominic Reinold and Dragan Naumoski all scored for the Knights (5-8-1. 2-3-1).
CCSU now sits ninth in the NEC standings as of print time, six points adrift of Sacred Heart, who currently hold fourth place and the last playoff spot.