Photo courtesy of CastletonSports.com Henok Palin competes in a recent game at Dave Wolk Stadium.
The men’s soccer team dropped its LEC opener 3-0 to the Beacons of UMass Boston this past Saturday at Dave Wolk Stadium.
Castleton had only 10 shots on the day, putting four of them on target but failing to score any goals. The Beacons took 30 shots while putting 11 on target.
Spartans head coach John O’Connor took positives out of the loss.
“It was a very hot day. I thought we played well in stretches against a very good passing and technically talented UMass Boston team,” he said.
The Spartans’ freshman goalkeeper Andres Soto-Burgos, who was named last week’s LEC Men’s Soccer Rookie of the Week, managed to secure a career high eight saves in the loss. Senior Jack Kingdon and junior Mason Thompson led the team in shots with three apiece.
UMass Boston scored early on in the first half to get the early lead. Beacons’ junior Nilton de Andrade was first to score off of an assist from sophomore Gerardo Castaneda after 13 minutes.
Castleton was able to keep it close throughout the half and into the start of the second.
Early on in the second half, Kingdon lined up a 21-yard free kick that would have tied the game, but he missed just wide of the goal.
The Beacons took advantage of the miss, scoring twice about six minutes after the attempted free kick.
Castleton had some players unable to play due to injury, and players had to step up because of that. O’Connor was happy with the way his team pushed through.
“I was very pleased with the contributions the guys who stepped in to help made,” he said. “Especially Spencer Butter and Tim Stewart, as well as freshman Chris Ciccarelli.”
Castleton sophomore Ben Stewart knows that his teammates on the bench are going to play a role as the season progresses.
“I think that going into the next couple of games, especially the conference games, our bench is going to be huge as we look to them for minutes,” he said.
UMass Boston improves to 5-1-1 overall, and 1-0 in conference play.
Stewart gave credit to the opposing side.
“UMass Boston is a very good team and unfortunately today’s game went to them,” he said.
The loss was the team’s second straight after losing to in-state rival Norwich last Tuesday. The Spartan now stand at 2-5 on the season.
Spartans co-captain Colby Gay believes that the team is prepared to use this game as a learning experience moving forward.
“Our team’s attitude is good,” he said. “We want to keep evolving as a team, which means we evaluate our performance and move on.”
Castleton returns to the pitch this Saturday for more LEC action as they travel to face Southern Maine on the road.
“One thing is for certain,” Gay said, “our team has a huge level of fight, and we are ready for the games to come. We know we have the work ethic and level of play to be a force in the LEC.”