Despite not playing a strong game, the SRU Men’s soccer team was able to come away with a 2-1 victory in its home opener Thursday over Malone University.
“I didn’t think we performed at a capable level,” SRU coach Andy Hoggarth said. “We played well for about 25 minutes in the second half, but we were able to get the win and get out of here.”
SRU took a 1-0 lead into half time after senior Ryan Lutke scored on a penalty shot, but Hoggarth believed his team was not playing up the its full potential.
Hoggarth said the way his team came out in the second half was the key to the victory. Due to a 10 minute lightning delay, the teams got an extra 10 minute half time to get themselves ready, and his team took advantage.
“We changed our intensity at half time,” Hoggarth said. “The first half was awful. We showed what we can do for 25 minutes after the delay, but we need to do that all game.”
A second half goal by Matt Sangermano, assisted by Peter Boylan gave SRU the 2-0 lead, not far into the second half. However, SRU seemed to loose its momentum late in the second half, allowing Malone to get back in to the game.
Jordan LoPresti scored Malone’s lone goal in the 73rd minute and that seemed to give Malone momentum, as they were on the attack for the rest of the game.
Some solid late game defense and good goaltending by Steven Rerick sent Malone players home with unhappy looks on their faces. In the closing minutes of the game, Malone had a couple corner kicks to try to get one in the net, but the SRU defenders and Rerick were solid, and didn’t allow any more goals to get past the goal line.
Rerick faced four total shots, recording two saves.
As a team, the Rock held the advantage in total shots with 12, compared to Malone’s four. Eight of SRU’s shots were counted as being on goal. Both teams were credited with 11 fouls apiece, and Rock junior’s Mike Pcholinsky and Josh Allman were each given yellow cards.
Malone held the advantage in corner kicks with six attempts compared to Slippery Rock’s three.
Hoggarth is hoping his team shows some improvement going into the next game.
“Our speed of play needs to improve,” Hoggarth said. “Some people didn’t do their roles, and some had the mentality to play the way they like to play.”
Hoggarth insists that this team needs to play as team in order to be successful.
SRU will be back in action this Saturday at home as it takes on Daemen College. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at James Egli Field.