Men's soccer falls short in overtime

By Eric Brod

Senior Writer

In front of a standing-room only crowd at Emmit Field at Holmes Stadium, the men’s soccer team opened Patriot League play with a disappointing 1-0 loss to rival Lehigh in double overtime. Though the Bison outshot the Mountain Hawks 25-15 and controlled the ball for much of the game, the Orange and Blue dropped to 5-4 on the season.

Early on, the team had several scoring chances, including a shot on net by Josh Plump ’13 saved by Lehigh goalie Ciavan Nugent in the fifth minute. The Bison continued to pressure on the Lehigh defense, and their best chance came in the final seconds of regulation when CK Kumah ’13 and Brendan Burgdorf ’13 nearly connected for what could have been the game-winning goal.

The teams remained deadlocked after the first overtime session with Nugent and Bison goalie Tommy Caso ’12 playing in goal.

“The defense has been steadily improving all year, and has really started playing well over the last two weeks,” Caso said. “Getting Andrew Powell [’12] back from injury has helped. The defense worked really hard on Saturday against Lehigh, and did a great job of covering for each other, and shutting down most of the opportunities which Lehigh tried to create.”

With 3:49 left in the second overtime, Lehigh’s Kevin Strunk headed in a perfect shot from teammate Jordie Ciuffetelli for the game winner. Lehigh improved to 4-1-3 on the season.

“Lehigh has always been one of the toughest defenses in the Patriot League. Getting 25 shots against them was the biggest positive,” head coach Brendan Nash said. “I thought our team played well for most of the game.  Despite the loss, we have to look at it and say that realistically we outplayed one of the top teams in the league, but were a little unlucky in the end.”

The Bison look to rebound tomorrow when they host American in another Patriot League matchup at 7 p.m.

“The last two years we lost the first game of the Patriot League season. So I know we have a resilient group that can bounce back, and I do not think it will be tough for the team to recover before we play American on Saturday night,” Nash said.

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