Men's Soccer Opens Conference Play with Two Losses

M Soccer 10.03.18Men’s soccer fell to Manhattan and Siena in their first two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) games of the season this past week, slipping to 2-6-1 (0-2-0 MAAC).

Monmouth kicked off their conference schedule on Wednesday night at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn against Manhattan, where they were defeated by a goal to nil.

“They’re older, experienced, a lot of international guys, and they were a good team, so it was going to be a big challenge for us,” said Head Coach Robert McCourt. “I thought we did a good job of limiting their opportunities.”

Though Manhattan dominated possession of the ball and created multiple scoring chances, the two teams entered the half time break at a stalemate thanks to a solid defensive performance from Monmouth.

In the 56th minute, the Jaspers scored the lone goal of the match with a moment of magic. Junior forward Noah Amissah found some space outside of the penalty area and curled a right-footed shot that dinked off of the far post and in to give the visitors the lead.

McCourt said, “Our goal before the game was to force the other team to execute to beat us and not us give them opportunities with our mistakes, and I thought we did that. The guy scored a really nice goal, so you have to give credit.”

Manhattan came inches away from doubling their advantage two minutes later when junior defender Adrien Awana rattled the crossbar with a free kick.

Monmouth saw multiple shots from distance and a header from senior defender Zach Pereira fly off target as they searched for an equalizer.

“In a game like this when you’re defending a lot, when you get a few chances you have to take one of them and that’s showing our inexperience a little bit at this stage,” said McCourt. “We had maybe two or three chances each half that I thought we could have done better with, but we didn’t.”

Though the Jaspers outshot the Hawks 14-6 in the match, Monmouth was able to hold them to one goal. However, the Blue and White were unable to find the back of the net, and the game ended 1-0.

On Saturday, Monmouth faced Siena in Loudonville, NY at Siena Turf Field.

Neither team could put a shot on target in the first half. It was not until the 71st minute that the Saints broke the deadlock. After a Monmouth turnover, Siena fed the ball to freshman forward Aaron Martin, who scored from close range.

With the goal, Siena edged the Hawks with a 1-0 victory. Monmouth’s last eight matches have been decided by a goal or less, and they have been shut out six times this season.

“We can improve a lot, and that comes to training,” said junior defender Andy Martinez. “We just gotta keep motivating each other and we’ll be fine.”

Monmouth will continue their MAAC campaign tonight against Fairfield at Hesse Field on the Great Lawn. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. and the match will be televised on ESPN3.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics