The Seton Hall men’s soccer team fell to Villanova in overtime on Thursday by a score of 3-2 at Owen T. Carroll Field in the final game of the 2015 season.
The loss caps off the Pirates’ winless campaign, as they finish the season 0-15-1 overall and 0-9-0 in the Big East. Seton Hall was perhaps its closest to a victory against the Wildcats. The team got off to a hot start and jumped out to an early first half lead.
“I liked our players’ attitude in the first half,” head coach Gerson Echeverry said. “They were going after it, attacking and keeping the rhythm of the game to get up 2-0.”
The Pirates jumped on the board in the sixth minute when Julian Kennedy scored off of a cross from Samuel Geiler to give Seton Hall a 1-0 lead. The Pirates would then score again in the 38th minute, with Spencer Burkhardt finishing on another assist from Geiler.
With the Pirates up two goals and out-shooting the Wildcats 9-3, a first win seemed like a likely outcome, however a late Villanova push said otherwise.
“We panicked,” Echeverry said. “We couldn’t keep possession of the ball, and we started playing long balls but gave the ball right back to them. We gave them a chance to believe.”
The Hall kept the Wildcats off the attack and made key defensive stops for the beginning of the second half, until Villanova scored two goals, the second within 59 seconds of the first. A 77th-minute goal from Sean Sheridan and a 78th-minute goal from Max Kroschwitz knotted up the score at 2-2 with not enough time for Seton Hall to recover in regulation, as they missed what Echeverry called “golden opportunities.”
In overtime, Seton Hall knocked on the door first. The Pirates had a shot from Burkhardt blocked by Villanova within the first two minutes. The Pirates then had another chance squandered when the Wildcats saved a shot from Andres Arcila in the 94th minute.
While the Pirates knocked, Villanova broke that door down with a 95th-minute goal from Sheridan to give the Wildcats the victory on what was Senior Day for the Pirates.
Echeverry insisted that his players keep their heads up when looking back on the season.
“I want them to love what the contributed to the program, and our doors are always open,” Echeverry said.
Matt Lamb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.