The Spartans’ early season struggles continued this past Saturday as they lost to the SUNY Canton Kangaroos 12-10 at Dave Wolk Stadium.
Castleton is now 0-3 on the year, but head coach Bo McDougall doesn’t want the team to be discouraged with the slow start.
“The tough thing looking at an 0-3 start is if you get caught up seeing it as an 0-3 start,” he said. “I think the talent we’ve shown in flashes during this three-game stretch leads me to believe we could have some really good success down the road.”
McDougall also said that the Spartans are a young team, so they are learning and growing each time they step on the field.
Senior midfielder Cameron Russell agrees with his coach.
“We have a young team, so guys are starting to learn how each other play and building chemistry,” he said.
Castleton scored four unanswered goals before SUNY Canton scored two heading into the second half. The Spartans had four different goal scorers for their first four goals.
Russell was the first to score on the day and the Spartans seemed to have the advantage.
But the Kangaroos started the second half with a lot of energy and scored three unanswered goals to take the lead before the Spartans could do anything about it.
SUNY Canton’s Noah Robinson was the first to score for the Kangaroos and ended with five goals and one assist on the day.
The third quarter saw a lot of scoring from both teams, but mostly from SUNY Canton. The Kangaroos scored seven goals in the quarter while the Spartans scored four.
The Kangaroos led 9-8 at the start of the final quarter.
Robinson fired the opening shots of the fourth quarter giving SUNY Canton the upper hand. He went on to score two more times in the quarter to secure the victory for the Kangaroos.
Castleton fought hard to stay in the game. Sophomore midfielder Collin Johnson scored with just one-minute left to get the Spartans back within two, but it was too little too late as the score remained 12-10 as the final whistle blew.
McDougall didn’t point to any specific person for the loss. He held everyone accountable.
“There were probably four or five moments where as a team, from top down, coaches, captains, all the way down to our freshman players, we maybe lost sight of the game,” he said.
Castleton has three more games before they have their first Little East Conference game against Eastern Connecticut State on March 21.
Russell believes that the team can turn things around over the next few games heading into this matchup.
“Our team has to minimize the small mistakes. It’s important that we outwork the opponent to every ground ball so our team gets more offensive possessions,” he said. “Every play matters and one goal can be a momentum shift.”
Castleton returns to action this Saturday when they travel to Utica College to battle the Pioneers on their home turf. The game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.