Men’s soccer falls to cross-town rival Providence in overtime

Missed scoring opportunities trouble men’s soccer as Friars take home 1-0 victory

Senior Staff Writer
Friday, October 7, 2016

Just a few days before its second Ivy League game against Princeton this weekend, the men’s soccer team faced local rival Providence Wednesday in a matchup that truly went the distance. After a scoreless 90 minutes, Brown (5-4-1, 0-0-1 Ivy) entered the first overtime ready to dig deep in hopes of securing the win. But the Friars (6-5-0) found the back of the net first and held on to take the game, 1-0.

This game marks the fourth consecutive meeting between Brown and Providence that has gone into overtime. In last year’s matchup, defender Jack Hagstrom ’19 lifted the Bears to the 2-1 victory. But this time, the Bears had major difficulties finishing their chances on goal, which was the main factor in their defeat. Additionally, with an extremely important game looming against Princeton, Head Coach Patrick Laughlin seemed to prefer keeping the starters fresh and played them sparingly.

“Today we rested a lot of players since we have an Ivy League game on Saturday,” said Matthew Chow ’19. “We used many guys today, so I guess that was a different approach. But our mindset was still the same: to win the game and win every battle.”

Given the teams’ history, playing Providence remains a meaningful game for the Bears. And this reality showed, with each team gunning from the starting whistle. Just in the first half alone, Brown recorded 10 shots on goal. Over the same period, Providence goalie Ben Saguljic allowed zero goals and denied two Brown corner kicks.

In the second half, Providence responded with five shots on goal and three corner kick opportunities. Each of these chances required solid defensive efforts by both goalkeeper Erik Hanson ’17 — who tallied three saves on the day — and the Bears’ defensive line in order to clear the ball away.

While the defense remained unyielding, the biggest issue Brown faced was finishing.

“I thought the team played pretty well, especially against a tough opponent like Providence,” Chow said. “We battled hard, and we had many chances. Again, we just needed to finish our chances, and that has been a deciding factor and pattern over the last couple of games.”

Specifically, in the 53rd minute, a free kick from outside the 18-yard box taken by veteran Nico Lozada ’18 pinged off the crossbar. Lozada had another shot in the contest, but it, too, missed its mark, going wide of the goal.

In another missed opportunity, Chow could not finish a quality chance in the first half after Lozada headed on a through-ball after some nice combination play. Chow’s resulting shot could not clear a charging Providence keeper, who successfully cut off all the angles, leaving Chow with little room to aim. The ball deflected off the goalie and out of bounds.

Next, the team will travel to Princeton and face the Tigers at 7 p.m. in a pivotal Ivy League matchup for Bruno. The Bears will hope to secure their first Ivy win after their conference opener versus Columbia this past weekend ended in a 1-1 draw. The following Saturday, Brown will host the Crimson in the first stretch this season without a mid-week matchup. The team hopes the down time will provide a valuable opportunity to practice, plan and — most importantly — sharpen up mentally and physically.

“There’s a lot of guys (who are) unhealthy and injured at the moment,” Chow said. “It’s just part of the grind I guess.”