With a tough loss to La Salle University last Saturday, the men’s soccer team suffered their sixth consecutive loss, bringing their record to 0-6. Both teams were scoreless at the end of the first half, but the Leopards let up 2 goals in the second half. Although senior Christian Moyse was able to get Lafayette on the scoreboard, there simply wasn’t enough time for an equalizer.
“In the second half of last game, we had a mental lapse very quickly and we were chasing the game – so we had to open up play,” said senior goalie Brian Ehrlich. “That made us a little more vulnerable defensively, which made us let up a second goal. We were chasing the game from there.”
However, Ehrlich says there were many positives that came out of that game.
“From last game we definitely saw some positives such as defense and organization in the back. We were denying crosses and getting in front of shots,” he said.
The rough start the team has had this season is partly due to lack of experience, Ehrlich said.
“This year we have a lot freshman coming, and last year we had a lot sophomores. Everyone is just gaining experience. We had some injuries,” he added.
As a goalkeeper, Ehrlich has a clear view of the field and the game at all times.
“I see a lot of organizational tactics,” he said. “We have two senior and junior center backs, and they’ve done really well: Chris Moyse and Joe Destefano. They’ve done a really good job organizing and it’s constant communication and being in the right spot.”
One of the things he said the team would like to capitalize on is taking advantage when the other team doesn’t play well.
“We have to keep executing our chances,” Ehrlich said. “Our problems these last few games have been executing. We’ve had many opportunities to score, defend, and make saves on my part. We haven’t had a full 90 minutes together. So from me as a goalkeeper, to the forwards, we all need to play the full 90 minutes together and execute.”
He said the team wants to focus on the basics of the game.
“We want to keep the fundamentals of 1 v. 1 defending, defending the flanks, and stopping services from coming in,” Ehrlich said.
Despite the shortcomings of the previous 6 games, he said he plans to focus on the positive things that they did in each game and filter out the negativity.
“In the Patriot League, you have to eliminate every single mental lapse that you have,” Ehrlich said. “Soccer games are often 1-0, 2-0, 2-1. Every key play that can go positive or negative is beneficial to winning. We want to focus on the positive and not the negatives.”
Despite the setbacks, Ehrlich says the team is still motivated to do well.
“I love soccer and I love getting better. I think all the guys on the team love getting better. We are hungry for the win and it’s only a matter of time.”
Not only are the Leopards motivated to do better, but they still have their sights on making the playoffs.
“We have a short-term focus to take in on one game at a time,” Ehrlich said. “But long term, the goal every year is take make the Patriot League Tournament.”
Lafayette will be facing the University of Albany on Wednesday night, and Bucknell on Saturday night. Both games will be home games for the Leopards.