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Despite scoring attempts, m. soccer falls short of goal

By
Friday, October 24, 2008

Tuesday night, the men’s soccer team (8-4-1) finished its non-conference schedule with a 1-0 loss against Hartwick College (5-4-5). The loss is the second in a row for the Bears, who only have four Ivy League opponents left on the schedule. Although the team has faced disappointing results the past two games, allowing five goals to one scored, the team feels it has played well and is headed in the right direction.

“We’ve become more focused as a team,” said captain Dylan Sheehan ’09. “Our past two games have been the best performances of the season. The team has the right mentality in going forward. We just haven’t been lucky.”

The Hawks scored the game’s lone goal in the 26th minute of play. Brown goalie Paul Grandstand ’11 came out of the net on the play, and a Hartwick attacker shot one past him to his left side. Both teams had an even number of shots (3-3) in the first half, but Brown had a big advantage on corner kicks (5-0). The Bears headed into the half down 1-0.

In the second half, the Bears battled the Hawks on offense but could not score a goal. In the last 20 minutes of the game, a sense of urgency to score kicked in, and the Bears made several good shots on goal. Sean Rosa ’12 had a great look from 30 yards out but couldn’t find the back of the net as his shot hit the post and rebounded back into play. David Walls ’11 picked up the rebound and sent the ball high over the goal.

Sheehan made one last push for the Bears, as he had several good looks in the final minute of play. He smashed a shot just outside the 18-yard box, but the Hawks’ reserve goalie made his first save of the season to secure the win. Sheehan attempted one last desperate shot in the final 10 seconds that went wide. Grandstand (2-3-1) recorded the loss in net.

“We pushed hard in the second half, but Hartwick disrupted our game plan,” Walls said. “We were very frustrated because we couldn’t score and wasted a lot of time.”

The Bears’ frustration on offense started long before the Hartwick game. Despite registering 26 shots over the past two games, Bruno has only been able to connect for one goal, scored in the last minute of a blowout loss to Harvard last Saturday.

“We’ve been generating the chances, and the goals haven’t been coming for us,” Sheehan said. “We’ve been working on finishing and the delivery of balls. Once we score one, the flood gates will open. Goals come in bunches. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue from there.”

Head Coach Mike Noonan said the team performed well despite the loss and believes it is only a matter of time before the team’s hard work will pay off.

“The team continues to play well and evolve,” Noonan said. “In comparison to the Hartwick game, we won the Bryant game 1-0 and didn’t play well. The past two games we’ve played well, and have had momentary letdowns that have cost us the win. The problem is that we’re running out of season. We have four big games ahead of us – we’re focused on that.”

The Bears are glad to settle into conference play for the remainder of the season as the team will have four to five days to prep for each team, according to Sheehan.

Brown will face Cornell on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Stevenson Field in the penultimate home game of the season.

“The team just keeps progressing and if they continue with the right attitude and continue to work hard, the results will come,” Noonan said.

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