BY TYLER MILLIKEN // OCT. 2, 2016 //
The men’s soccer team suffered a devastating 2-1 loss in overtime against Commonwealth Coast Conference opponent Roger Williams University. The Colonels are now 0-4-1 in CCC play, and an underwhelming 3-9-1 overall.
Even before the first whistle blew, weather conditions were already making things tough for both sides. It was raining quite hard with strong winds to match, and it didn’t slow down at all throughout the night.
Roger Williams started this one off by applying massive pressure on the Colonels’ defense early, but the Colonels weren’t making things easy for them. Junior midfielder Roy Butlin was all over the field, breaking up different passes and slowing the Hawks’ momentum.
As the game progressed, the wet turf led to both sides struggling to gain consistent possession of the ball. Multiple scoring opportunities would be wasted, as players slipped and were unable to regain footing in these tough conditions.
The Roger Williams goalie, Nick Nelson, seemed to have every answer on top of that and stopped all five shots at him in the first half.
The frustration building for the Colonels was obvious, especially due to the fact that the Hawks were continuing to make things tough on Curry’s defense. None of their eight first half shots found the net.
It was a different story for Roger Williams University, however, as freshman Nicholas Sanchez scored with just over ten minutes remaining in the first half. It was the first of his career, coming at a time when things had been dead even for both teams.
Closing out the first half, Curry was unable to put anything significant together on the field. After a quick intermission and some loud words from the coaching staff, Curry came out with some fire in their eyes; they weren’t going to get pushed around anymore.
Throughout the game, the Hawks had been doing a lot of talking and pushing that fell under the radar because of the terrible conditions. The Colonels began to match the aggressiveness and were focused on getting the momentum back on their side.
The ball would continue to stay at midfield, though, as both teams refused to let the other expose their defense. It wasn’t until both sides began to tire, that shots began to be fired consistently at the net.
Freshman goalie Mike Russo-Penata would make two huge saves in the first 20 minutes of the second period to keep Curry in this one as the clock continued to drip. His aggressive play in the box neutralized some great crosses from the Hawks.
On the other side of the ball, Curry was still not having a lot of success. About ten minutes into the second half Roy Butlin missed registering his first goal of the season by inches. The ball bounced off the inside of the left post, but a save by Nelson squashed the opportunity.
The Colonels looked flat for a bit afterward until their frustration boiled over around the 75-minute mark.
Junior Ben Silvia would get tangled up with Hawks defender Kyle Farabaugh, after both sides got sick of the constant chirping going on. Only some shoving took place before teammates from both sides quickly broke it up. Silvia and Farabaugh both received yellow cards, but this seemed to wake Curry up.
After the game, Silvia explained that he just told the team to, “shake it off and get back into the game and play our best.”
Just under five minutes later, it was Silvia who came through with an unassisted goal in the box to tie things up. It was his second of the season and a major turning point in the game. The Colonels’ energy was back, and they were focused on getting momentum completely on their side.
As the second half continued to wind down, both teams weren’t interested in taking crazy chances. The ball was kept around midfield until the whistle announced the end of regulation. Overtime was coming up, and Curry was letting everyone know they were ready to complete the comeback.
Unfortunately, just two minutes into overtime, Roger Williams forward Tyler Kuchenbecker got past the entire Colonels defense due to a great assist by Sean Janson. He would net the winning goal for the Hawks, putting an end to whatever comeback hopes Curry had in this one.
After the game, Ben Silvia noted, “We have to start over, we got to take one game at a time. This was a huge game in the conference for us because we were all tied, but we just really need to capitalize on big moments and big teams so we can get back into the tournament.”
Streaking: The Colonels came into this game looking to end their current trend of three losses in a row. They come away with only an extended losing streak.
Shots don’t equal goals: Curry outshot Roger Williams 16-8, but not enough of the 16 found the back of the net. Silvia led the Colonels with 6 at the end of the evening.
Home Stand: Curry returns to action in their sixth straight home game Monday afternoon against Lasell College with kickoff scheduled for 4 p.m.
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