Men’s Soccer Loses Late Against #25 Ranked UMass Lowell

M Soccer 9.20.17Monmouth men’s soccer was defeated twice on the road this past week by both Columbia and #25 ranked UMass Lowell, respectively, as the Hawks now see themselves winless in their last four matches.

“We always challenge ourselves by playing a really difficult non-conference schedule,” said Monmouth head coach Robert McCourt.

Monmouth looked to bounce back from their overtime defeat to UMBC when they travelled to New York City to face Columbia on Tuesday, September 12th. It was the home side who struck first in the 38th minute when senior forward Arthur Bosua flicked a header on to junior midfielder Francisco Agrest, who was able to convert the chance into a goal.

Midway through the second half, Columbia extended their lead to two. Bosua was involved once again, this time as the goal scorer after deflecting a pass from sophomore midfielder Matthew Swain into the back of the net.

In the 76th minute, Monmouth managed to cut the deficit in half when junior defender Zachary Pereira received the ball just within the edge of the eighteen-yard box and tucked a shot inside of the right post. The Hawks were unable to find an equalizer, though, and the final score ended 2-1 in favor of Columbia.

On Saturday night, Monmouth once again played on the road, this time at #25 UMass Lowell. Thirty-five minutes into the match, the River Hawks went in front. Junior midfielder Jakov Basic belted a shot into the top left corner of the goal from over thirty yards out. Ten minutes into the second half, Basic added another goal to his tally, and a fourth on the season, by placing a free kick into the back of the net from just outside the penalty area.

Monmouth sprung to life and answered back with a free kick goal of their own just minutes later. Senior midfielder Jake Areman caught the goalkeeper cheating when he swung a left-footed effort into the bottom far corner as opposed to over the wall.

Unlike the loss to Columbia, Monmouth was able to complete the comeback and leveled the score moments later. A stray pass from the River Hawks was intercepted by freshman midfielder Santo Arena, who charged up the pitch and slipped in a through ball as he fell to the ground. Freshman forward Anes Mrkulic latched onto the pass, took a touch, and slipped the ball underneath the onrushing goalkeeper and into the net.

Despite their best efforts, Monmouth’s hopes of gaining a result from the match were let down with just three minutes to play when UMass Lowell scored the game-winner, making it a 3-2 final. Sophomore midfielder Dario Jovanovski was credited with the goal in the end as it came off of him last after a series of deflections.

“We didn’t get the result we wanted, but tonight was another amazing night for our program,” said McCourt. “UMass Lowell is a fantastic program, who is a physically and mentally mature team with a lot of talent. We came back and at times really looked like we might get the win. We can take a lot from this experience and continue to build with this new group.”

With the two losses, the Hawks dropped to (2-4-1) on the season. After a postponement due to inclement weather on Tuesday, Sept. 21, Monmouth men’s soccer will look to rebound as they are set to face Hartford on Wednesday. Sept 20 at 7 p.m. at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn. The game will be the team’s last non-conference game of the season before Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play (MAAC) begins against Rider on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 7:00 p.m.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics