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 finishes regular season with two draws

Junior forward Andrey MacIntyre jumps up for a header against Bucknell. (Photo by Rick Smith for GoLeopards)

The men’s soccer team (8-5-5 overall, 4-2-3 Patriot League) finished its regular season last week, facing off against Bucknell (2-10-4 overall, 1-6-2 Patriot League) last Saturday at Gummeson Grounds, then traveling to Navy (6-7-5 overall, 3-2-4 Patriot League) on Wednesday night.

The Leopards could not score against the last-ranked Bison, ending the match in a 0-0 draw. The Maroon and White then traveled to Annapolis to battle against the Midshipmen but once again could not find the back of the net, finishing their season with another scoreless draw.

The match on Saturday was dedicated to the team’s eight graduating seniors. Eric Ponieman, Eddie Grant, Tenneyson Wnek, Benji Grossi, Brendan Tomlinson, David Mizrahi, Hale Lombard and Jack Needham were all honored for their commitment to the program and accomplishments during their time on the Hill.

The Leopards began to ramp up the offensive pressure against Bucknell in the 30th minute when junior forward Lawrence Aydlett advanced the ball into the Bison penalty area before making a play to Lombard whose left-footed shot sailed just over the crossbar.

This play from the Maroon and White marked the only clear opportunity in the first half of play, with the score remaining 0-0.

The start of the second half was much like the first, with little opportunity on either side. Bucknell warmed up as the half went on and gained more possession.

Lombard credited fellow senior Mizrahi with “holding it down in the back, making some very important tackles to prevent Bucknell from scoring.”

The Leopards upped their offensive game by making more crosses into the box but were unable to create any scoring opportunities. Bucknell tried a similar strategy with the same fruitless outcome.

“The attack needs to step up and start finishing,” Lombard said. “The defense is keeping us in most of these games.”

At the final whistle, the game remained a scoreless tie. The Leopards outshot the Bison four to three, with all four shots coming in the first half.

Junior goalkeeper Griffin Huff saw very little action in goal thanks to a strong day from the defense, making only one save.

“Ultimately it’s the guys in front of me who make my job easy,” Huff said about the defensive performance.

The Maroon and White played in another stalemate on Wednesday night in Annapolis, where they could not find the back of the net f0r the second straight game. The Midshipmen narrowly edged out the Leopards on the stat sheet, outshooting Lafayette 11-9 (5-3 on-goal). Huff came up with five saves to keep the Leopards in the game.

Although the Leopards failed to capitalize on their chances, the point they earned from the draws boosted them above fourth-ranked Colgate in the rankings to cement the third seed as they look toward the playoffs.

The team will be focusing on improving its game, having better lines of communication on the field and playing more consistently. 

Despite not always achieving the desired game outcome, Huff said that this year has been exceptional in its unity.

“This is the most cohesive team environment I have been a part of since coming to Lafayette,” Huff said. “We are a team of brothers.”

The men will face American tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Gummeson Grounds in the Patriot League quarterfinals. If they win, they will advance to face Loyola Maryland on Tuesday. The Leopards will look to string together three more wins to earn their first Patriot League championship since 2012.

Disclaimer: 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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Fiona Cannon
Fiona Cannon, Staff Sports Writer

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