Men’s Soccer Battles Against Patriot League Rival: Team Falls 3-0 in First League Match to American


Senior forward Ethan Kutler has performed tremendously thus far in his 2016 campaign, recording three goals, nine shots on net and six total points for the Raiders’ offense. 

JT Mehr

This past Saturday, the men’s soccer team traveled to Washington, D.C. to compete in their first Patriot League match of the 2016 campaign against American University. It was a long afternoon on the road for the Raiders as they fell to the Eagles 3-0.  

Both teams battled hard through the first 15 minutes of the match, exchanging possessions back and forth while making little headway towards scoring a goal. However, in the 16th minute, American was finally able to take the first shot of the match, which resulted in a diving save from Raiders senior goalkeeper Ricky Brown. Sophomore forward Uyi Omorogbe recorded the first shot for the Raiders’ offense in the 19th minute, but was saved in acrobatic fashion by Eagles goalkeeper Lucas Belanger.

The Raiders displayed great poise during the first half of play by controlling much of the momentum on both sides of the ball. During the 32nd minute, the Eagles were finally able to cement a lead as American junior forward Joe Iraola was fouled in the box and awarded a penalty kick. Iraola buried the ball in the back of the net past Brown, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead heading into halftime – despite the Raiders’ offensive persistence, Colgate failed to tally an equalizer.

Unfortunately, the second half of play proved no different for the Raiders, as the team allowed their second goal of the contest. American senior defender Jake Garcia scored on a deflected ball off a corner kick during the 60th minute. The Raiders’ offense rattled off six shots in the next 15 minutes, four of which came off the feet of senior forward Ethan Kutler. However, Belanger had a terrific performance in net all day,  securing a clean sheet.  American was able to increase its lead to three on the second goal from Iraola during the 74th minute of play. Brown made important saves down the stretch for the defensive unit, but the team was unable to rally as the Eagles walked away with the victory.

Head coach Erik Ronning shared his outlook after the match.

“It was a very tough result for us today,” Ronning said. “Although we created more than enough golden opportunities, we could not find a way to score. We must be sharper in defending and playing smart in critical areas of the field. Regardless of the score, our guys never stopped working, pushing and trying to get back into the game. We had a couple chances to do so, but it was not meant to be. I am confident that we will become a much stronger team as a result of this experience against American,” Ronning said. 

Senior midfielder Nick Le also weighed in regarding the match and the team’s takeaways.

“This was certainly a heartbreaking match for our team; however, American definitely proved to be one of the strongest teams we’ve faced thus far,” Le said. “Overall, I believe this game will serve as great building block and learning experience, not only for our underclassmen but also our upperclassmen as we attempt to capture the coveted Patriot

League title.”

The team will host defending league champion Lehigh University on Homecoming Weekend this Saturday afternoon. The contest will be held at Beyer-Small ’76 Field, where the Raiders hope to secure their first Patriot League victory and continue their momentum towards the NCAA playoffs.