Postseason spot on the line for men’s soccer
The regular season comes to an end Saturday afternoon for the men’s soccer team in Washington, D.C., where the Pirates will take on the Georgetown Hoyas for the second consecutive time.
Head coach Gerson Echeverry said he doesn’t sense a different result in this upcoming match than the past contests against nationally ranked opponents. Echeverry said he believes it’s not his players’ ability that keeps the team from securing wins; rather, it is lack of execution and the players’ inability to find the back of the net.
“That’s what it is, it’s efficiency, it’s about being clinical,” Echeverry said. “It’s about being the types of players that they are, and unfortunately our players are just not on that level right now.”
Throughout the season, the Pirates have suffered from the constant inability to perform to their potential and constantly failing to execute correctly against their high ranked opponents who make sure to capitalize on their chances.
Echeverry said he hopes his team can put it all together for the final game but isn’t sold that it will happen.
“No,” Echeverry said. “I mean I hope. We work on it, we try, but we’ve gone 17 games and not been able to do it. I want to believe that we can. For the kids unfortunately we can’t play for them, it’s not that we can be there. It’s not a lack of trying, it’s not because they don’t want to, it’s not because they’re not capable of it, it’s just not happening.”
The Pirates have one more chance to knock off the Hoyas and secure a spot in the Big East Championship. Echeverry said he sees this as an opportunity for his team to be more relaxed knowing that they can also advance in to the tournament with a Providence loss against Connecticut on Saturday.
“Maybe, you know, less pressure after the game,” Echeverry said. “As an example, even if we lose the first game but if Providence loses, well then we know we’re in the tournament and maybe our guys will be a little more relaxed.”
Echeverry can’t stress enough to his players the importance of capitalizing on their opportunities. Through the last four games, the Pirates have faced all top 10-ranked opponents. After the team went 0-4 through that stretch, Echeverry is convinced that his players’ will is overshadowed by the higher caliber play of their recent opponents’ squads.
“When we were at Connecticut we had chances before them to score,” Echeverry said. “It’s just the fact we can’t score and whenever teams, especially these caliber teams, get an opportunity they put it away.”
Over the same stretch of games the Pirates have created a multitude of chances to score, but couldn’t, unlike their counterparts.
“We need 10, 12, 13 chances I guess that we’ve had over the last couple of games to score, they get one and they put it in the back of the net,” Echeverry said.
Dennis Chambers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.