Men’s soccer finishes season in two double overtime ties with Holy Cross and Army

Venezia+scored+the+game-tying+goal+that+sent+the+team+into+a+double+overtime+on+Saturday+against+Holy+Cross.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+GoLeopards.com%29

Venezia scored the game-tying goal that sent the team into a double overtime on Saturday against Holy Cross. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards.com)

Issy Bongiovanni, Contributing Writer

The Lafayette men’s soccer team (7-7-4 overall, 3-3-3 Patriot League) tied with Holy Cross 2-2 after an exceptional comeback in the second half and going into double overtime this past Saturday before yet another double-overtime tie against Army which brought their season to an end.

Coming off three consecutive losses this season, the Leopards were “really determined and focused to win against Holy Cross,” junior midfielder Yiannis Panayides, said. Panayides took three shots in the outing with one being on goal.

Senior forward Marcos Kitromilides and junior forward Hale Lombard each also had one shot on goal out of each of their five shots.

Holy Cross scored the first point of the day with a set-piece goal at the 33rd-minute mark.

“It could’ve gone either way, I think the rain had to do a little bit with how it went in. For set pieces in general, we need to do a better job as a team,” Lombard said.

The Crusaders made their second goal just five minutes later, bringing the score to 2-0.

“I think this weekend, we should have been more focused in the first half. We gave up two very easy goals,” Panayides said.

The Maroon and White fired off five shots before the end of the half but were still down by two to Holy Cross. Nevertheless, the Leopards persisted, leading to a comeback.

Lombard scored his fifth goal of the season at the 72nd minute, assisted by senior captain Andrew Venezia. 

“One of the things we did well, and I’m very proud of the team for this, is that we kept our heads held high,” Lombard said. “Eventually we were rewarded with the two goals, and so I was proud of how we came back.”

Quickly after Lombard’s goal hit the back of the net, Venezia quickly scored his second goal of the season, tying up the game 2-2 in the 75th minute.

“One player that stood out for me was Andrew Venezia, our captain and left-back,” Panayides said. “He gave an assist and he scored a goal off a direct free-kick. Scoring direct free kicks are very rare and it was really beautiful to watch.”

After Venezia’s goal, the Lafayette bench rushed the field prior to entering prior to entering overtime.

“[Venezia] was pretty sound defensively and attacking. He was giving us plenty of opportunities to tie the game and take the lead,” Lombard said. “I would say his performance, in general, was world-class.”

While Lafayette came close to winning against Holy Cross, neither side successfully scored and the teams remained tied through two 10-minute overtimes. 

“We reacted very well in the second half and we managed to tie the game,” Panayides said. 

The Leopards outshot the Crusaders 24-8 and held them to just two shots in the second half and just another two shots throughout both overtimes.

Freshman goalie Griffin Huff saw his fourth start of the season and saved two shots coming from the Crusaders.

Unfortunately, the Leopards needed a win against Army in their game following Holy Cross in order to qualify for the Patriot League Quarterfinals. The season came to an end when the game against the Mules also finished in a 2-2 double-overtime tie.

The Leopards started off strong as junior midfielder David Mizrahi scored the first goal of the night, assisted by Venezia.

Lombard notched the second goal of the day in the second quarter, yet again assisted by Venezia.

Just eight minutes later, Army responded with a goal. At 85:06, Army scored once again to close out regulation play at 2-2.

The teams then went into two overtime sessions, in which neither side was able to get a shot into the net.

While Army needed just a tie to clinch their spot in the playoffs, this nail-biting tie was the end of the road for the Leopards.