Amanda Boyer/Photography Editor
The Seton Hall University men’s soccer team (2-4-2) will travel to Omaha, Neb. on Saturday to face the Creighton Bluejays (7-1-1) in hopes of breaking a two-game losing streak.
The Hall is coming off of road losses to conference opponent DePaul and non-conference Drexel.
Saturday was DePaul’s Big East opener. Poor defense got in the way for the Hall, which fell 3-1 to the Blue Demons. Senior Kai Greene scored the Pirates’ lone goal of the game, his fourth of the season. Greene is second in the team in goals scored.
On Tuesday, the Pirates were shut out 2-0 by the Dragons at Vidas Field, only the second time they have been held scoreless all season. Once again, the team’s defense was costly.
“It comes down to poor defending as a team,” head coach Gerson Echeverry said. “It’s not that we have been playing awful. It’s just that teams have been capitalizing on our innocent mistakes. We find ourselves in a hole that we can’t dig ourselves out of.”
While their losing streak is only at two games, the Pirates have been struggling for much longer. In their last six games the team is 1-4-1, with the only win coming against Monmouth at home on Sept. 23. The team’s offense has been on a dry spell, scoring two goals in their last four games after scoring a total of four in a Sept. 14 loss to Princeton.
“It’s not the lack of opportunities,” Echeverry said. “We’ve had some very good looks. We weren’t able to capitalize. Against DePaul we had two very good looks that we missed. We’re not finishing and the fact that we’re giving up goals when we’re down creates extra stress for the guys.”
On top of that, Echeverry has seen poor defense and judgment from his team on a consistent basis.
“It’s mental mistakes,” he said. “You have to make decisions in milliseconds, whatever it is that you read. Unfortunately, our guys have had mental lapses in which they give the ball away in the wrong spots.”
He added that when that happens, the team begins to overplay.
“Certain guys are trying to do too much and maybe are doing more than they are capable of,” Echeverry said. “Thus, we create some of these turnovers that we are getting punished by.”
Now, the Pirates have to gear up for Creighton, the No. 11 team in the country. Seton Hall’s stagnant offense will go head to head with the Jays’ defense, which has allowed three goals in the last nine games.
“Not sure,” Echeverry said when asked how he sees his offense getting past Creighton. “I think we need to go there and our priority right now is that we are organized in the back and that we don’t give up any silly goals. We know we are capable of creating, we know we have some guys that are capable of scoring some goals. It’s just that we can’t find ourselves in a hole, giving up goals so early.”
The game is set to start at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4 at Morrison Stadium.
Gary Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @GPhillips2727.