The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Men’s soccer beats Binghamton 2-0, falls to Fairleigh Dickinson in nail-biter

The men’s soccer team now looks ahead to conference play with a 3-1-2 record. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

Last weekend, the men’s soccer team traveled to Binghamton, New York where it conquered the Bearcats 2-0. The team then faced Fairleigh Dickinson on Tuesday night, losing both the game and its undefeated record after the Knights scored a late goal.

The Leopards are now 3-1-2 in out-of-conference play, placing them first in the Patriot League standings as they transition into conference play this weekend.

The victory against Binghamton was hard-won, with the Leopards having to battle both the Bearcats and the weather. The game was delayed during the first half due to a thunderstorm watch, and both teams waited idly by for 46 minutes before it was safe to resume.

The Leopards came out of the weather delay ready to play — senior midfielder Carter Houlihan scored during the second minute of the game. Junior goalkeeper Griffin Huff said that it was the collaboration between Houlihan and first-year Beaux Lizewski that enabled this start to the game.

“The ball was bouncing around in the box and … Lizewski took possession and laid it off to [Houlihan],” Huff said.

Senior midfielder Eddie Grant attributed the team’s early success to its quickly acquired cohesiveness. He explained that it usually takes more time to practice and play together to achieve this level of chemistry.

“Usually it takes more of the season to work towards this point, but we have already started this working well together,” Grant said. “It sets us up well for the season ahead.”

Along with this cohesion, he noted that the team has high energy and a determined outlook for the season. Particularly, the new first-year players have come ready to work.

“We began the game [against Binghamton] strong, pressing them hard with the first goal being scored within the second minute of the game,” Grant said. “This quick start kept the team working throughout the rest of the game.”

Huff mentioned the persistence the team showed, explaining the effective efforts to block offensive plays by Binghamton and keep the ball up the field. The Leopards did secure another chance to set up a goal 10 minutes into the first half, with Houlihan passing the ball to senior forward Hale Lombard, but the Bearcats were able to thwart the play.

During the 67th minute, Lombard had another chance near the net, with sophomore midfielder Connor DeAngelis cutting down the left side of the field and passing off the ball to Lombard in the box, but again the Bearcats defense met the effort. 

The team’s persistence was finally rewarded during the second half in the 82nd minute when Lombard scored a goal off of a corner from senior midfielder Benji Grossi.

In contrast, the Leopards were not able to capitalize on their chances Tuesday night against Fairleigh Dickinson. Despite outshooting the Knights 18-6 overall and by a 6-3 margin on goal, the Maroon and White were not able to score, including on a penalty kick in the 69th minute. This was the first match of the season in which the Leopards were unable to find the back of the net.  

The team is looking to bounce back and is preparing for the start of league play. Grant and Huff also said that alongside Lizewski bringing his all to the team, there needs to be a large emphasis placed on all of the new players who have come ready to leave everything on the field. First-year forward Roy Biegon earned Rookie of the Week for his game-winner in the team’s game against Le Moyne on Sept. 5.

The team heads into official Patriot League play this weekend, facing Colgate tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. at Gummeson Grounds.  

Assistant Sports Editor Eric Ponieman ’24 is a member of the men’s soccer team. He did not contribute writing or reporting.

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