Men’s soccer notched first Patriot League win in overtime thriller

Junior+midfielder+Yiannis+Panayides+of+Lafayette+mens+soccer+puts+ball+past+Terriers%E2%80%99+goalie%E2%80%99s+for+the+game+winning+goal+in+overtime+nail-biter+against+Boston.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Athletic+Communications%29

Junior midfielder Yiannis Panayides of Lafayette men’s soccer puts ball past Terriers’ goalie’s for the game winning goal in overtime nail-biter against Boston. (Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications)

Charlie Berman

The Lafayette men’s soccer team scored their first Patriot League win of the young season when the Leopards beat the Boston University Terriers 1-0 last Saturday. After the ball bobbled around Boston’s box, junior midfielder Yiannis Panayides placed a shot over the Terriers’ goalkeeper’s head for the game-winning goal just one minute in overtime. 

“I was so happy to score this goal,” Panayides said. “I cannot really express my feelings, I felt like I helped the team and that was really important. It really boosted my confidence.”

The Leopards have had trouble scoring goals in the first part of the season. However, opponents have struggled to score on the Maroon and White, as senior goalkeeper Alex Sutton and the Leopards’ defense have been tough to get past. On Saturday, Sutton made 5 saves and notched his 19th career shutout in the process.

“I don’t look at it as me,” Sutton said. “I’m just a part of the defensive group, and I think we’re all playing well. We haven’t given up a goal in conference play and we’re looking to continue that streak.”

Independent of the score, Lafayette dominated the game as they controlled possession, put up more shots and had more opportunities through corners and free-kicks than Boston.

The team was fully in sync on Saturday as three Leopards received Patriot League Weekly Honors due to their efforts in the match: Sutton was named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Week, Panayides the Midfielder of the Week and freshman defender Eoin Martin the Defender of the Week.

After losing in the Patriot League championship the last two years, the Leopards seem to have the strong defense that could fulfill their championship aspirations. With their record sitting at 5-3-1 (1-0-1 in the Patriot League), the microscope is now on their offense after only scoring one goal in 211 minutes of conference play.  

“I think the offense was a bit unlucky,” Panayides said. “We had a bunch of chances that we didn’t manage to turn into scoring opportunities.”

“It’s also a matter of execution,” Sutton added. “I think we’ve gotten a little unlucky with keepers and defenders making some good plays, but I also think all of us need to do a better job of putting ourselves in positions where we can execute.” 

The Leopards feel like they are on the right track and will continue to improve until they reach their full potential. 

“I want to compliment the team as a whole for its brotherhood,” Panayides said. “Everyone is on the same line, everyone is focused on the same goal and I think it is very important for the long-term success of the team. It is our time.”

Currently fourth in the Patriot League behind Army West Point, Holy Cross and Navy, Lafayette will face Colgate at Oak Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. before getting a week off.