Fairfield, CT- The Sacred Heart University Men’s soccer team wrapped up regular season play in the NEPL League this past weekend as they made their way up to Wesleyan University in Middletown Connecticut to play both Wesleyan University and Amherst College. This all coming after a weekend of very unexpected events and a great showing at Fordham University.
The first two fixtures on April 6th in the NEPL League, scheduled to be home matches for the SHU Club soccer team resulted in unfortunate events playing wise as both teams, WPI and Clark University, contacted SHU within 24 hours before kickoff stating they would be forfeiting. Although the circumstances were less than ideal this in turn resulted in two 3-0 forfeit victories for SHU.
The following day April 7th SHU traveled to the Bronx to play a friendly against Fordham University, a top 3 opponent in Region 1 play from the fall as well as a team that just fell short of reaching the nation tournament in Alabama being out lasted by Navy and University of Delaware at the regional tournament in Delaware. The match was very well fought as SHU found themselves down 2-0 by the halftime whistle. With a change in system and formation at halftime along with a few switches in personnel SHU scored a quick goal from Senior center forward/Striker Shindler Auguste combining with Junior center forward/striker Rob Allingham and midfield players to make it 2-1, 15 minutes into the second half. The goal SHU scored on Fordham in fact was only one of two goals scored on Fordham since the end of 2017. The 2-1 score line was held through 60-70% of the match and resulted in a truly amazing performance by the guys, constantly catching Fordham on the counter attack, where both Junior captain Alex Angelescu and Junior Center Forward/Striker Rob Allingham connected with the crossbar and goal post respectively. With many chances and great breaks out of the team’s own defensive half the match was there for the taking. The match resulted in a 4-1 loss for SHU allowing two more goals in the last 10 minutes of the game. Overall, playing against a top club like Fordham really offered an immense learning experience for the guys in the SHU club soccer program.
The last two fixtures of the NEPL League were this past weekend on Saturday April 13th. With the two forfeit victories in the team’s back pocket the upcoming matches would be looked at as a way of controlling their own destiny moving forward into the playoffs. The first match was against Wesleyan University and finished as a 3-2 win for SHU. After going down early 1-0 in the first half a few substitutions and a transition in system resulted in a swift turn around. Adding a second center forward up top allowed the team to press the back line of Wesleyan more efficiently. Towards the end of the first half SHU tied the match up with a great finish from senior center forward/striker Shindler Auguste taking the team into halftime even at 1-1. Early into the second half Shu responded quickly and efficiently scoring two more goals, first by junior center forward/striker Rob Allingham and then later by Freshman winger/striker Phillip Ferranola taking a demanding lead of 3-1. With a late consolation goal coming from a communication error for Wesleyan the game finished with a 3-2 score line.
The Second fixture from Saturday’s league matches was against Amherst College. As a very technical and tactically smart team it would be essential for SHU to go into the match very disciplined taking care of the simple variables in the match and playing a quicker style of game, quicker passes, and conservation of energy. The match unfortunately ended as a 2-0 loss for SHU. However, there were many takeaways from the match as it is now more obvious than ever where the tactical adjusts need to occur for the team. The largest downfall for SHU ended up being the lack of energy/fitness level as well as the individualist style of game simply not matching the needs for a match like the one on hand.
SHU is wrapped up with regular season play and all friendlies for the Spring 2019 season, finishing with a (3-1) 3 win and 1 loss record in conference and a (5-2) 5 win and 2 loss overall record for the Spring. The team awaits to hear from the league coordinator whether they have qualified for playoffs later this month. Please keep an eye on all future Men’s Club Soccer news!
3/3/19 – SHU @ CCSU CANCELED
3/9/19 – SHU @ Fairfield 3-0 W by forfeit
3/9/19 – SHU @ University of New Haven (UNH) 3-2 W
4/6/19 – NEPL League SHU vs WPI 3-0 W by forfeit
4/6/19 – NEPL League SHU vs Clark University 3-0 W by forfeit
4/7/19 - SHU @ #1 Fordham 4-1 L
4/13/19 – NEPL League SHU @ Wesleyan 3-2 W
4/13/19 – NEPL League SHU @ Wesleyan vs Amherst College 2-0 L
4/27/19 – NEPL League Playoffs TBA
4/28/19 – NEPL League Playoffs TBA
5/5/19 – NEPL League Playoffs TBA