Shutdown Defense Leads to 2-1 Week for Men’s Soccer

Doug Hendry, Sports Editor

The men’s soccer team followed up a 2-1 defeat in its home opener to Binghamton on Aug. 29 with a 2-0 shutout of Hartwick on Aug. 31. The Bison finished off their first week of play with a 2-0 victory over St. Francis (Pa.) on Sept. 3.

With a packed house at Emmitt Field, the Bison couldn’t muster enough offense against Binghamton. Still, the Bison dominated the offensive area for most of the game, including the entire first half. The Bison outshot Binghamton (9-1) and topped them in corner kicks (6-0).

“We have a very talented team this year, and combined with the good energy we brought to start, that’s what really allowed us to see the majority of the ball and outshoot Binghamton 9 to 1 in the first half,” Justin Galiani ’17 said.

In the first half, Jesse Klug ’16 had only the keeper to beat after a few dribbles through defenders but missed left of the net. Chris Thorsheim ’16 also had a heading attempt off a corner that was batted away by the quick reactions of the Bearcat goalie.

Even with all of these excellent opportunities, Binghamton scored first in the second half when its striker sent the ball past a charging Mike Lansing ’16 in the 62nd minute, but the Orange and Blue were able to avoid the shutout courtesy of a Galiani volley in the final minute.

The Bison rebounded against Hartwick with a victory over the Hawks. Most of the possession was kept in the offensive half, and Patrick Figgie ’16 knocked in the first goal of the game in the third minute. Zack Rockmore ’16 sent a deep ball right over the defense to Figgie, and after the first attempt was denied, Figgie netted his third-career goal on the second shot.

Jonathan Grad ’15 added another goal to close the scoring on a penalty shot that went to the lower left- hand corner of the net. Clarke Fox ’16 started in goal and raised his career record through four starts to 4-0.

“I don’t think anything significant changed from Friday to Sunday,” said Mark Leibensperger ’15, whose hustle at midfield and fullback was vital in both of the first two games to start the season. “I think Sunday, we were more focused on putting away our chances to make sure we didn’t have a repeat of Friday, and we were able to get the win against Hartwick.”

Looking for their second win, the Bison traveled to St. Francis (Pa.). Klug opened up the scoring in the 10th minute. Thorsheim would increase the lead to two goals just moments into the second half after a handball led to a penalty kick. This was Thorsheim’s first goal of the season after scoring eight goals a year ago.

Another shutout thanks to Fox helped secure the victory for the Orange and Blue. This win helps avenge a 1-0 loss to St. Francis early in the season last year.

The Bison (2-1) are away tonight in Buffalo, N.Y. for an away game at Canisius. A three-game winning streak will be on the line at 7 p.m.

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