In the final match of their non-conference home slate, the Seton Hall men’s soccer team was defeated by the Delaware Blue Hens (2-1-1) on Wednesday night at Owen T. Carroll Field by the score of 2-1.
Coming off a devastating home loss to Rider where the Hall conceded two unanswered goals in the second half, the Pirates wanted to give home fans something to be excited about heading into conference play. However, for the second consecutive match, the blue and white were bested by a one-goal margin. Seton Hall had opportunities to score the go-ahead goal in the first half, but two misplaced kicks coming off breakaways and a rocket by junior Samuel Geiler that was just wide right left the Pirates in a scoreless deadlock heading into intermission. The Blue Hens broke the tie in the second half when Joe Dipre put a cross from Guillermo Delgado past Pirates’ goalkeeper Julian Spindler in the 54th minute.
Just 12 minutes later, in the 66th minute, Delaware tacked on another goal when Spindler mishandled a shot by Daniel Laguna of the Blue Hens. The misplay left head coach Gerson Echeverry without an explanation.
“I really don’t know,” he said. “I saw a cross shot, cross whatever it was, very soft. I don’t know if he lost it, I don’t know if he tripped. I won’t know until I ask him. From what we saw, we don’t have an explanation.”
Spindler’s miscues may overshadow the four saves he recorded, including a diving one in the 41st minute, to keep the match scoreless. The Hall responded two minutes later as Geiler’s shot went between the legs of Delaware goal keeper Blai Palmí and found the back of the net, making the score 2-1 in favor of Delaware. It was the second consecutive match in which Geiler scored.
Mario Prata was just a fingertip away from putting in the equalizer, as his shot in the 79th minute went off the finger of Palmí, Delaware’s keeper, and over the net.
The Pirates have registered four goals in their first four games
“The problem is we are missing simple goals,” Echeverry said. “We’re not being lethal inside the box… That just goes with guys taking the responsibility to be cool inside the box and put the ball away. If you don’t score goals you aren’t going to be able to win. We don’t have a natural goal scorer right now and that’s the problem.”
The Blue Hens outshot the Pirates throughout the game, 14-8, including a 7-3 advantage on shots-on-goal.
Despite the loss, the Pirates did some things well and will look to carry them over into the next match and conference play, according to coach Echeverry.
“The way we got behind when we were moving the ball side to side, finding Sammy (Geiler), finding our wide guys,” he said. “There was some movement with (Ozdemir) Burak trying to get behind the players. Now we just have to make sure we time the runs and play the right balls. I think the movement from the guys upfront was better. It’s just that the delivery of the balls need to be crisper, need to be cleaner for us to get something out of it.”
The Pirates will hit the road to Lewisburg, Pa., to face off against Bucknell on Sunday, Sept. 13. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
Matthew Zeigafuse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @mattzeigafuse.