Lombard notches two goals in men’s soccer’s first win of the season, three players earn preseason honors

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Junior forward Hale Lombard (left) celebrates Lafayette’s Monday night win with senior midfielder Senior midfielder Will Echeverria (right). (Photo courtesy of @lafayette_msoc on Instagram)

The men’s soccer team (1-1 overall, 0-0 Patriot League) defeated Albany 2-0 on Monday night, marking its second non-conference game and first win of the fall 2022 season.

The Leopards were led by junior forward Hale Lombard, who scored both goals of the day for Lafayette. Lombard’s first goal was at 30:34 coming from a throw-in assist by senior midfielder Will Echeverria. Lombard’s final goal was at 51:57 after junior midfielder Benji Grossi set him up for a header.

The Leopards kept the energy high throughout the game and outshot Albany seven to three.

Head Coach Dennis Bohn explained that while the team aimed to prepare physically over the summer, they also wanted to build upon their culture of brotherhood and strength in unity.

“We’re really close on and off the field,” senior midfielder Yiannis Panayides said. “We have a solid brotherhood.”

Senior goalkeeper Alex Sutton played all 90 minutes of Monday’s game and recorded a save. 

“The defensive line kept its composure and didn’t let them score,” Panayides said. “Our goalie stepped up when we needed him to the most. It was a great team effort.”

Sutton’s continuous efforts over the past four years, along with the efforts of Panayides and their classmate senior defender Nick Hazel, led them to receive All-Patriot League preseason honors as announced this past August.

Bohn said that all three of them were deserving of the title, which is only given to 11 players in the whole conference. He explained that Sutton and Hazel are the team’s captains and have been stellar leaders this year.

“They’re great guys and great leaders on and off the field,” Panayides said. “I think with these dudes on the team, we can do a lot of good things.”

In 2021, Sutton recorded four shutouts for a 1.08 goals against average. This earned him Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year.

Hazel was an All-Patriot League Third-Team selection in 2021 and was one of the 44 Division I men’s soccer players named to the 2021 Division I Men’s Hermann Trophy Watch List. 

Bohn said that Panayides leads on and off the field as well by “living up to the Leopard way” and serving as a role model for the younger members of the team.

Panayides was named a Third Team All-Patriot League selection in 2021 as he recorded two goals – including one game-winner – and totaled 29 shots with 11 on goal. Panayides said that he wants to be a key player this season and help the team win as many games as possible.

Bohn said that this season the team will focus on continuing to score multiple goals a game. Additionally, they will be emphasizing getting wins through shutouts as they did against Albany.

Bohn said that the team will be using the remaining non-conference games to “build some character, get some wins on the road and come back ready for the Patriot League season.” 

Lafayette will enter Patriot League play against Holy Cross on Sept. 17. Tonight, the Leopards will be traveling to Emmitsburg, MD to face Mount St. Mary’s at 7 p.m.

Correction 9/2/2022: A previous version of the photo caption identified Will Echeverria as Hale Lombard.