Despite its recent success on the road in the past three games, the CCSU Men’s Soccer team struggled on Sunday afternoon losing to Fairleigh Dickinson 2-0.
The NEC matchup was a pivotal game for both squads because the teams were tied atop the standings at 10 points apiece entering the game.
Although both schools recorded 8 shots for the game, Fairleigh Dickinson capitalized on its opportunities and took full advantage of CCSU’s defensive breakdowns.
“We played a very good opponent in FDU who came out very physical. We gave away two weak goals in the first half and it gave us a hole to climb out of. It didn’t reflect the way we’ve been playing in this season. Our passing game was doing well and we had an off day, just like a bad day in the office. We weren’t composed, and they were physically intimidating up top,” said Coach Green.
Nico Wright gave FDU a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute when the ball was crossed from the right side of the box by Jeffrey Barrenchea. After a deflection in the penalty box, Wright found the ball at his feet and placed it past goalkeeper Anthony Occhiali with precision.
FDU’s second goal came in the 30th minute when CCSU lackadaisically coughed up the ball in their half of the field. Jan Aubert dribbled down the left side of the pitch and put a shot on goal that caromed off Occhiali’s gloves and slowly rolled its way over the goal line.
Fairleigh Dickinson has taken sole control of first place in the NEC standings with 13 points and a conference record of 4-0-1.
CCSU’s inability to finish their scoring opportunities cost them dearly. Coach Green reinforced that point during the game by repeatedly shouting across the pitch, “Make them count lads!”
“I think we’re mentally prepared for every game. It’s a funny thing, you go out on the field and think you’re prepared and 11 other guys have something else to say about that. You’re talking about the best two teams in the conference going at it and somebody has to give. Unfortunately it was us. I don’t think it was lack of preparation. We had a good, inspired performance on Friday night. We rested up and that’s all you can do on a day off. We had an off day and I think at some point in the season FDU will have their off day too”, said Coach Green.
Regardless of the their NEC record at the end of the season, tip your hat to CCSU for continuing to compete despite being unable to participate in the NEC and NCAA tournament as a result of the academic sanctions brought upon them.
Freshmen Ben Knight received NEC Rookie of the Week after scoring the first two goals of his collegiate career against St. Francis (NY).
The Blue Devils’ next home game is on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. versus Mount St. Mary’s.