Junior captain scores game winner for second straight victory
The Seton Hall men’s soccer team made it two wins in a row going into Big East play with a 2-1 comeback win over the University of Delaware Wednesday night.
Junior captain Max Garcia scored the winning goal of the game in the 35th minute marking his fifth goal of the season. Sophomore midfielder Konrad Plewa got the assist on the goal.
“He (Garcia) was the guy who led the team in scoring last year,” head coach Gerson Echeverry said. “Naming him captain this year, we have asked for some more out of him and he has picked up those responsibilities. This has helped him mature as a player; he is very dangerous for us scoring key goals, which really helps us offensively.”
Roberto Gimenez of Delaware scored his first goal of the season in the fifth minute of the game.
“It was a great shot he took, there was nothing our keeper could have done,” Echeverry said. “The first ten minutes of the game we were a bit nervous and tense. After the goal the guys actually relaxed a bit. The kids are starting to believe in what we are doing and we kept fighting. Fortunately, we were able to get two goals and pull out a win.”
This one goal by Delaware was the only one allowed on the night thanks to “very smart play” by the defense. “With the exception of the first ten minutes, the kids were working extremely hard on the ball,” Echeverry said.
In the 25th minute, junior defenseman Christian Battistesa put in his first goal of the season, a goal that put the Pirates on the scoreboard and tied the game.
“He is still playing in the back, but we have the outside backs attacking a bit more,” Echeverry said. “He has had opportunities and chances, but this time we were able to find him. He was calm under pressure, he scored a motivating goal and that was a changing point in the game.”
Junior goalkeeper Kevin Bonder was set to start on the night, but felt sick and ended up being replaced by redshirt senior Michael Kuzan.
“Although he wasn’t penciled to start, Kuzan came up big throughout the game,” Echeverry said. “He came on in the beginning of the game nervous but he made some big saves and began to settle down.”
The men’s soccer team opens up Big East play this Saturday at Syracuse.
“The kids are feeling good about themselves,” Echeverry said. “With the exception of the games against Old Dominion and (VCU) we are feeling like we were in every game. We see what these teams are capable of and believe we have a fair chance to win.”
Stephanie Vedral can be reached at stephanie.vedral@ student.shu.edu