Men’s soccer rebounds after tough opening loss starting the season 1-1

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Men’s soccer victorious against Drexel in their first home game of the season. (Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications)

Davis Esslinger

The Lafayette men’s soccer team kicked off their 2021 season with a tough 1-0 loss to University of North Carolina Wilmington in the team’s first-ever matchup. The two teams duked it out in a defensive battle that saw a first half goal be the deciding factor as the Leopards began their 2021 campaign with a road loss.

I think after coming off of a relatively successful Spring season, we took it for granted a little,” senior Will Echeverria said.

Echeveria had a shot on goal along with freshman Jack Borden and senior Marcos Kitromilides. 

Even though in the first two friendly games in preseason we did well offensively, we should work on becoming more dangerous and creative in the final third of the field,” Kitromilides said.

The lone goal came in the 39th minute off a penalty kick which beat senior net minder Alex Sutton. The first shot in action came two minutes later off the foot of junior Benji Grossi. 

After the loss, the Leopards were confident the team could rebound.

“I have faith that the team will immediately bounce back from the loss against UNCW,” Kitromilides said. 

The Leopards followed their loss to UNCW with a win over Drexel in their home opener. The Leopards finished triumphantly with a 2-1 victory by a late penalty kick.

Kitromilides led the way with both goals in their win. The first of these goals was scored in the 48th minute while the second came on a 90th minute penalty.

Drexel controlled the pace of the game for the duration of the scoreless first half, outshooting the Leopards 6-4. The Leopards wasted no time seizing momentum in the second half, as Kitromilides struck three minutes into the half. 

Senior Andrew Venezia also played a crucial role in the Leopards win. He recorded his first assist of the season, helping Kitromilides turn the tide in the second half.

With the game heading towards overtime with 24 seconds left in regulation, the Leopards advanced on the Dragons goalkeeper who came out of the net and collided with one of Lafayette’s players. The result of the play was a red card for the goalkeeper and a penalty shot for the Leopards with a chance to win the game. 

Kitromilides took the penalty shot for the Leopards, finding the back of the net and pushing the Leopards to victory.  

The Leopards are back in action today, Sept. 3, in a home match against Mount St. Mary’s at 7 PM.