After going up 1-0 in the first half, the Seton Hall men’s soccer team fell to the Rider Broncs 2-1 on Thursday, Aug. 28 at Owen T. Carroll Field.
Seton Hall headed into the game having tied with Saint Peter’s in its first contest of the season on Aug. 25, while Rider was fresh off a 3-2 loss to Lehigh on the same evening.
The Pirates started off strong offensively, scoring the opening goal just ten minutes into the game. After winning possession following a foul on Rider’s Mathis Catanzaro, the Hall was able to cross the ball to an open Spencer Burkhardt, who drilled a header into the top right corner of the net. Gabriel Viola and Noah Teperow were credited with assists on what was Burkhardt’s first goal of the young season.
Seton Hall was able to maintain the advantage in possession for the rest of the half, limiting Rider to just one shot in the remaining 35 minutes. The Pirates put up five more shots before halftime, but Burkhardt’s remained the only one to find the back of the net.
Rider turned it around completely in the second half, consistently getting the ball into the attacking third while preventing Seton Hall from getting any strong opportunities. Rider attempted four shots before finally scoring in the 55tht minute. After a header from Emmanuel Kouma was blocked by Seton Hall goalkeeper Steven Catudal, Arthur Herpreck managed to knock in a header of his own to even the score at 1-1. Clement Bourret was credited with an assist on the equalizer.
The Broncs were able to take the lead just seven minutes later with another strong offensive push. Jose Aguinaga had possession of the ball on the right side of the box and found an open Pablo DeCastro to his left. DeCastro drilled a shot past the diving Catudal into the top right corner of the net, pushing Rider ahead 2-1.
The Hall struggled to get any decent attacking opportunities following DeCastro’s goal. Both teams played physically in the second half, leading to two separate scuffles in the final ten minutes of the match. No players were injured or ejected and neither outburst got overly physical, nevertheless, a total of 17 fouls were issued to both sides in the second half.
With the loss, Seton Hall settles for one point from the available six to start the year, while Rider earns its first three points on the season. The Pirates return to action on Friday, Sept. 1 when they head to Stony Brook for their first regular season road game of 2017.
Matt Lapolla can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @MatthewLapolla.