Fluke Play Dooms Men’s Soccer in Patriot League Opener

Stephen Urban

The men’s soccer team played two games this past week, falling to Lehigh in the Patriot League season opener 2-1 in overtime, and losing 3-0 to the Masschusetts Minutemen.

The Raiders fell to the Mountain Hawks last Saturday in a rain-soaked contest. Despite the rain, both teams were able to get on the board in the first 15 minutes of the match. Lehigh scored first when first year forward Austin Decker scored his fourth goal of the season in the 14th minute. Senior defender Adam Welch assisted Decker, and with the goal Decker increased his team lead in goals for the season.

However, the Raiders were able to answer right back just a minute later when first-year midfielder Mike Reidy scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season off of a pass from first year forward Shane Conlin. The wetness affected the offensive attack for both teams during the first half, and the Raiders and Mountain Hawks were only able to get off a combined nine shots in the opening 45 minutes.

The second half proved to be more offensive for Lehigh, as they had more than three times the shots that the Raiders had, getting off 10 shots versus just three for Colgate. However the Raider defense kept the Mountain Hawks out of the net, as junior goalkeeper Max Krasilovsky-Revell had four saves in the half, including a diving save in the 67th minute off of a shot from five yards away by a Lehigh forward. Krasilovsky-Revell finished the game with six saves in his first career start for Colgate. Krasilovsky-Revell filled in for injured sophomore goalkeeper Chris Miller, who is out with a hamstring injury. Junior defender Jeff Leach was also injured in the game, as he suffered a high ankle sprain and will be out indefinitely. The half finished tied up at one, and the game headed into overtime.

In the extra session, a Raider made a huge mistake that ended up costing Colgate the game. A free kick taken by Lehigh junior goalkeeper Jonathan Lydell 10 yards outside of his 18-yard box could not be controlled by junior midfielder Adam Costello, and he inadvertently headed the ball over the reach of a charging Krasilovsky-Revell and into the back of the net giving Lehigh the 2-1 victory.

“It was a fluke play that happened because of the rainy weather,” sophomore midfielder Will Zabel said. “It’s a tough way to end the game but we’ll look to bounce back in our next league game.”

The Mountain Hawks swarmed the field and made a dog pile in the corner to celebrate the victory. With the win Lehigh improved to 4-2-1 on the season, while the Raiders dropped to 4-3.

The Massachusetts Minutemen dominated the Raiders on Tuesday, giving the Raiders their third consecutive loss. The Minutemen got on the board in the 12th minute when senior forward Mark DeSantis took a corner from the right, which could not be handled by Krasilovsky-Revell. Masschusetts sophomore defender Andrew Henshaw was able to pass it first-year midfielder Dominic Skrajewski who put the ball in just past the left post. Karsilovsky-Revell got his second consecutive start in place of sophomore Chris Miller.

The Minutemen increased their lead to two goals just over five minutes later after sophomore midfielder Bryant Craft was fouled inside the box by Colgate sophomore defender Mike Reese, and Craft cashed in on his penalty kick. Massachusetts scored again in the 28th minute when DeSantis headed home a cross from junior midfielder Stuart Amick.

The three goals was a season high for the Minutemen, and the most the Raiders had surrendered on the season.

“We played a really weak first half,” sophomore forward Matt Schuber said. “They were able to capitalize on three of our mistakes like any team should.”

Massachusetts junior goalkeeper Chris Piekos had his third clean sheet of the season, and now leads the nation in save percentage at .955. Piekos is also fourth in the nation in goals against average at 0.22. Krasilovsky-Revell made no saves in the first half, and was replaced by sophomore goalkeeper Colin Prather in the second half, who made one save. Massachusetts outshot the Raiders 11-8, and Massachusetts held a slight advantage in corners as well 4-3.

“Our second half was much better,” Schuber said. “Prather played a great half, but we just weren’t able to put the ball in the back of the net.”

Colgate is back in action this Saturday as they travel to Worcester, Massachusetts to take on the Crusaders of Holy Cross. The Raiders look to stop their three game slide against Holy Cross, who stand at 1-6 on the season. Kick-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.