Friars ends tournament hopes
The men’s soccer team fell out of Big East playoff contention after Wednesday night’s loss to Providence, 2-1, in the Pirates’ senior night and final home game of the season.
Seton Hall fell to 1-7-1 in Big East play and 3-12-1 overall while extending their losing streak to seven games.
“For the seniors: thank you for the efforts and thank you for everything you put into it the past four years,” head coach Manny Schellscheidt said.
The Pirates have suffered numerous injuries during their losing streak, in which four games were decided by one goal.
“These are the sad stories that have occurred too many times for this senior group,” Schellscheidt said. “Their heads and their minds were willing but their bodies weren’t always giving them what they needed.”
The Hall threatened the Friars in the second half with 12 shots on goal.
Senior Dritan Sela put what would have been the equalizer in the net with 52 seconds left, but was called offsides beforehand.
With eight minutes remaining in the game, senior Steven Rose sent a header just wide of the post.
The Pirates had another opportunity when senior Brayan Martinez’s 70th-minute free kick from 35 yards out bounced back to the Hall off Friar senior goalkeeper Jhojan Obando, leading to another deflected Seton Hall shot and corner kick.
Providence took the 2-1 advantage in the 55th minute on senior midfielder Andrew Sousa’s shot from the top of the box, tallying his second goal of the game and team-high fifth of the season.
His first goal came 24 minutes into the game on a 12-yard strike from the left side of the box, giving the Friars the quick 1-0 lead. Sophomore Marc Cintron assisted both goals.
The Hall’s lone goal came on a Providence own goal in the first minute of the second half after a Friar defender attempted to clear the ball on the defensive back line, tying the game 1-1.
Senior goalie Sean Carr played the first half in net and made two saves, while freshman Kevin Bonder played the second half and also grabbed two saves in the final 10 minutes of the game.
The Pirates also dropped Saturday night’s Big East road game at West Virginia, 3-2 in overtime, on the Mountaineers senior night.
The Mountaineers scored in the fourth minute of overtime on senior Eric Schoenle’s header off a corner kick.
Pirate freshman George Velasquez scored his first career goal in the 83rd minute, putting Seton Hall up 2-1, until two minutes later when an inadvertent header caused the Hall an own goal and the lead.
Seton Hall’s first goal was scored by Sela for his third of the year, when Martinez fed him the ball at the top of the box leading to a turn-and-shoot from the forward.
The Pirates final game is set for Oct. 30 at Marquette.
“A lot of young guys are getting more playing time and hopefully they get mistakes out of their game,” said Schellscheidt. “There’s no more pressure; we have to enjoy the game and play as good as we can.”
Matthew Bryant can be reached at email@example.com.