BY TYLER MILLIKEN // OCT. 23, 2016 //
The men’s soccer team struggled to compete against Gordon College on Saturday and lost 5-0 at home on a wet and windy Senior Night.
Emotions were high prior to the game, as seniors Dan Johnson, Steven DePina, Nick LaPenna, and Kevin Leite all received a flower and were thanked for their contributions as a Colonel. They also led the huddle to get the team pumped up and prepared to play their final regular season game at home.
Once the first whistle blew, though, it was obvious Gordon was a force Curry wouldn’t be able to keep up with. A combination of speed and perfect communication left the Colonels beat up and down the field. These struggles on defense led to a number of shots being put on goal to start the game, and senior goalkeeper Dan Johnson wasn’t able to keep up with the bombardment.
Just 5:33 into the first half, Gordon’s Caleb Cole placed a corner kick right in front of the net, and junior defender Jerry Williams knocked it in with a header. It was a tough start for the Colonels, who were looking to make a stand against the second-best team in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.
Goalie Dan Johnson was quite vocal from this point on, relaying different calls to his teammates. However, after the first goal, the Colonels seemed to fall flat. All the emotion prior to the game was nowhere to be found, and the Fighting Scots jumped on the opportunity.
Cole went on to put Gordon up 2-0 at the 12:43 mark, putting a ball right in front of the net for Josh Beveridge off a corner kick. Beveridge put a header that was just barely outside of Johnson’s dive attempt.
Even with a 2-0 lead, the Fighting Scots had no interest in slowing down. Their pressure on offense later created another corner-kick opportunity for Cole. He placed the ball in front of the net for Matt Chartier, who followed suit and put a header into the top right corner, too quick for Johnson to even react.
Gordon continued to launch shots on goal through the rest of the first half, but none were able to find the back of the net, yet, at halftime, the Fighting Scots was outshooting Curry 8-1.
Frustration was boiling over for the Colonels, as they talked over the game plan during the intermission. It was obvious they weren’t happy with their play, but there was still a significant amount of time left.
Once the second-half whistle blew, Curry drove down the field fairly easily for their second shot of the night. Junior midfielder Ben Silvia was able to get a clean look, but Gordon’s goalkeeper made a terrific play to knock it down and clear it out of the box.
Even though the Colonels were showing some fight to start the second half, the Fighting Scots weren’t interested in letting this game get close. For the fourth time on the night, Cole was awarded an assist after his third corner kick of the game found freshman Noah Craig’s head in the box.
The game was beginning to get away from the Colonels, and they knew it. In every facet of the game, they were being outplayed. Johnson noted after the game, that “It’s tough, sometimes it feels like you can’t do anything out there.”
Communication for Curry continued to be an issue all night, as the Fighting Scots broke up poor passing decisions. The Colonels were trying to lead each other down the field but failed to do so successfully. Gordon ended the scoring with another header from Beveridge, this time leading to an assist on junior Josh Cochran’s goal with 34:36 to play.
It wasn’t too soon after this last barrage of goals, that Curry began to find some success on the offensive side of the ball. For the first time all night, the Colonels created solid scoring opportunities in front of the net and ended up outshooting the Scots 6-3 in the second half, but failed to register a goal.
It was a devastating loss for Curry, who was looking to improve their seeding with only one more game remaining on the schedule.
One More Trip: The senior Colonels take to the road with their 6-12-1 record for one more regular-season road trip, to faraway Eastern Nazarene, which is all of 20 minutes down the road.
Work the Corners: Gordon College heavily out-weighed the Colonels on corner kicks, racking up 9 to Curry’s 2.
Save me a seat: Curry goalkeeper Dan Johnson has now racked up 74 saves over the season, good enough for the third-best mark in the entire conference.