Men’s soccer wins second straight match

Four first-half goals by the men’s soccer team led the Pirates over Pittsburgh, 4-1, Saturday for the team’s second straight win.

The win brings the Pirates to 6-5 overall with a 2-1 record in the Big East.

The first two goals of the game were scored by junior George Velasquez in the fourth and 19th minutes. The first was shot into the right side of the goal and was assisted by junior captain Max Garcia.

Less than two minutes after the goal, Velasquez had another great scoring opportunity, but he placed the ball wide of the left goal post.

“With four goals, I can’t be too upset,” head coach Gerson Echeverry said. “But if we had been blanked out those missed chances we had in the game would have been a harder pill to swallow.”

Junior Christian Battistesa later sent a low cross through the box to Velasquez for the second goal of the game.

Five minutes after his second goal, Velasquez, along with Battistesa, assisted on the third goal of the night. As he was falling down, Garcia kicked the ball straight into the top of the net to put the Pirates up by three.

“We were able to move the ball really well,” Velasquez said. “If we did lose the ball, we began to press as soon as possible and we were able to get it back quickly.”

Pittsburgh defenseman Alex Harrison put the Panthers on the board in the 34th minute, cutting the Pirates’ lead to two.

Pittsburgh defenseman Alex Harrison caught junior goalkeeper Kevin Bonder out of the net, took a shot from 45-yards out and put it into the back of the net, in the 34th minute.

Echeverry said that mistakes happen and that the win highly outweighed that particular mistake.

The final goal of the night was put in by junior midfielder John Gurel who earned his first goal on the season in the 40th minute.

Garcia got the assist on the goal, his second of the night.

Only four shots on goal got through to Bonder from a tight Pirate defense. Sophomore Mateusz Brela had two key slide tackles after the Pittsburgh goal that helped them gain a little momentum.

“Right now he (Brela) is really improving,” Echeverry said. “Slide tackles are not ideal, but he timed them correctly and got the ball and I am happy with how the play ended.”

The Pirates will look for their third-straight win Tuesday against fellow New Jersey opponent NJIT.

“We just need to keep trusting each other,” Velasquez said. “Winning always builds confidence.”

Stephanie Vedral can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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