By Michael Otero
Coming off the heels of its seven-goal victory over Daemen College five days earlier, the men’s soccer team bested Molloy College in overtime, 3-2, on Thursday, Oct. 20, to improve to 12- 0-1 on the season—dropping the Lions to 9-3.
The team proved once again that it has the ability to win in so many ways. Junior midfielder, Harry Pearse, who netted the game-winning goal against Molloy, said, “We have tremendous character. Being able to come back from behind at Mercy, then winning in over-time at Molloy is all down to how much work we put in during pre-season and the hunger we have as a group to win every game.”
Pearse is second on the team with nine goals and first on the team with shots taken so he sees his fair share of scoring opportunities. This goal was different, however. Pearse said scoring a goal of that magnitude was “an unbelievable feeling” and “one of the best [feelings] a player could ever have.”
Pearse netted the game-winning shot in large part because of senior forward, Jason Lampkin, and sophomore midfielder, Charlie Ledula, who both executed an odd-man rush.
Earlier in the match, the Pioneers drew first blood just a minute in when junior back, Johan Mauritzson, found the back of the net. The Lions re- grouped and evened the score in the 16th minute.
The Pioneers took the lead once again in the 24th minute thanks to Ledula and his team-leading 14th goal of the year. Just like earlier, the Lions pulled even, this time tying the game late in the second half.
For the majority of the match, the Pioneers held the advantage in ball control and pace, and that was evident in shot attempts as well; the Pioneers held a 14-9 advantage in that department.
The team returned to action on Sunday, Oct. 23, against St. Thomas Aquinas College in front of its home fans and delivered a 1-0 overtime victory.
After nearly 100 scoreless minutes, the Pioneers broke the tie and scored the game’s first goal. Lampkin sent a cross into the box and Ledula took it from there, heading the pass into the mesh for the goal.
The 100th-minute winner was a culmination of the work done in the first 99. The Pioneers held a 17-9 shot advantage, which included four shots to none in the overtime session. In addition to shots, the Pioneers also had 13 corner- kick opportunities.
Senior keeper, Jesper Malmstrom, stopped both shots that came his way and earned another shutout victory. The team extended its winning streak to four games, and stands at 13-0-1 on the season.
Pearse acknowledged the fact that the team has a zero on the loss column and said, “Staying undefeated is a goal of ours, and we are strong enough to do it. We just try to be the best team that we can be every game, and with the personnel that we have, hopefully go all the way.”
The no. 2-ranked Pioneers return to action on Wednesday, Oct. 26, against the University of the District of Columbia. The home finale is set to start at 2:30 p.m. from the Pioneer Soccer Park. The Pioneers’ 13 seniors are getting acknowledged before kick-off.