Photo by Austin Drucker ‘17 | Photographer
The Lafayette men’s soccer team continued its unusual season over the last week, beating SUNY Binghamton 2-1 on Saturday and tying Cornell 0-0 on Tuesday for its sixth and seventh double overtime finishes in eight matches. As a result, the Leopards remain one of only 21 undefeated teams in the entire country.
“No doubt our record is unusual,” Head Coach Dennis Bohn said. “However, being undefeated is proof that the team is being rewarded for their hard work and perseverance.”
Playing its fifth consecutive double overtime match, senior captain Alec Golini put in the winning goal against Binghamton in the 103rd minute after a shot by Tom McCutcheon ‘15 deflected off the post.
“Every win is important but I think the result against Binghamton really helped our confidence,” Bohn said.
Until the 85th minute, Lafayette was down 1-0, though it was not for lack of effort. The Leopards launched attack after attack at the Binghamton goal, tallying 15 shots to the Bearcats’ four and putting nine of them on goal by the end of the game. But Lafayette couldn’t find the back of the net until Greg Biggiani ‘16 was taken down from behind by a Binghamton defender and Peter Adubato ‘14 was granted a penalty kick, which was put low and to the left past the diving Bearcat goalkeeper.
In Ithaca, the double overtime trend continued. Both teams went into the game undefeated and left it the same way, with Lafayette matching its record for most ties in a season. However, the 2007 rendition of Lafayette soccer had 10 wins and four losses to go with its six draws. The 2013 squad has most of its season ahead: 13 out of 21 games.
Senior Nathan McDonald completed his 15th career shutout despite Cornell putting six shots on goal to Lafayette’s two. Lafayette had two chances late to take a lead. One was a shot by junior Ryan Dodds who had his attempt blocked in the 77th minute. Less than two minutes later, fellow junior Chandler Fraser-Pauls got a header opportunity but missed wide left.
Despite the extra minutes the Leopards have played in the last five games, the team has had no significant injuries. Bohn believes his team will benefit from the longer matches.
“The team is actually getting fitter due to the extra minutes,” Bohn said. “It is definitely physically and mentally getting them prepared for the league season.”
The team starts Patriot League play next week on the road against Colgate. Despite Lafayette’s unblemished record, Bohn feels that there are aspects of his team’s play that need improvement before conference play begins.
“I am very proud of how the team is handling themselves both on and off the field,” he said. “We have to improve in many areas as we get ready for the Patriot League season, but I am excited about the positive energy and effort that is developing in this year’s team.”