Pirates tie Blue Hens in double overtime
Holding a lead proved to be tougher than expected tonight as the Seton Hall men’s soccer team finished a 3-3 double overtime draw with the Delaware Blue Hens at home in their second game of the regular season.
The still winless Pirates seemed to be clicking offensively, however three defensive lapses caused them to lose leads at crucial times as the Blue Hens refused to give up all night.
Sophomore Max Garcia, who scored two of the Pirates’ three goals, led all players with eight shots, six of which were on goal.
It was Garcia who gave the Pirates their first lead just 10 minutes into the match after he won a free kick at the edge of the box, about 25 yards away from goal. Garcia lined up and struck a screamer into the left side netting for his first goal of the young season.
Just nine minutes after Garcia’s goal, Delaware struck back after some fancy footwork and passing from the Blue Hens’ Evans Frimpong who muscled his way toward goal and fed Roberto Gimenez for a goal.
After finishing the first half still tied at one, Seton Hall notched their second goal when Garcia broke free from the defense and had the keeper one on one in the 71st minute. Making a swift move to the right, Garcia attempted to hop over the keeper however he was taken down as the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty.
Junior Adriano Gabriele converted the penalty to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead.
Five minutes later, the Blue Hens equalized off a free kick just outside the box. After the ball was headed out by a Pirate defender, Kyle Ellis took control and slid the ball past sophomore keeper Anthony Reichwaldt to make the score 2-2.
At the 87 minute mark, Max Garcia was once again at the center of attention as he converted the Pirates’ third goal after an extended individual effort. Garcia received the ball to the left of the box and proceeded to use his footwork to fool two defenders, before squaring himself to the goal and drilling a 35 yard goal into the top right corner.
“He’s a special player,” said Seton Hall coach Manny Schellscheidt when asked about Max Garcia’s individual effort. “He’s strong, focused, and did very well tonight.”
The Blue Hens, as they had done the entire evening, equalized yet again just one minute after the Seton Hall goal when the Pirate keeper saved an initial shot from Gimenez, but could not save the rebound which was scored by Delaware’s Tobias Muller.
After an intense overtime which saw three players sent off and numerous missed chances for Delaware, the final whistle sounded. For the Pirates, senior Joe Baker and freshman Kai Greene were sent off following their second cautions for bad tackles while the Blue Hens’ John Dineen was sent off for being issues his second yellow after intentionally elbowing the Pirate keeper.
All three players will be suspended one match for their sending off.
According to coach Schellscheidt, the result just was not good enough.
“We played very well,” the coach said. “It was a great performance, but the result was not there. We would expect to grab three points on our home field, but a draw is disappointing when you look at how well we played.”
Schellscheidt also noted how poorly his team did following their tallies in the game.
“It’s something mental that they will have to work on,” he added. “We made mistakes and that is something we will have to work on, but this is definitely the pace we want to play at. I hope this is the first of many games like this.”
The Pirates will be back in action when they visit Army in West Point, N.Y. this Monday, September 5.
John Lopiano can be reached at email@example.com