Enrique Carrasco, Editor
The La Salle Men’s soccer team had no room for error when they met St. Joes at home during senior night. The Explorers were one loss away from not being able to qualify for the A-10’s. Sadly for the squad, they fell 1-0 to St. Joseph’s University.
The men were off to a rough start when St. Joe’s forward Alex Hartman was able to put a ball past Graduate Goalkeeper Mitch Foster only a minute after the starting whistle had been rung. While this was a disappointing start for the squad, allowing a goal this early against the conference rivals was the last thing they had planned. Despite this, the men were not discouraged and kept themselves concentrated on the task at hand. The Explorers were able to keep pressure on St. Joe’s throughout the entire game, coming away with 5 shots, with 3 of them being on goal. On the other side of the game, St. Joes had 15 shots, with 6 of them being on goal. The pressure between the two rivals was kept at the same level throughout the entire game, with La Salle having 6 corners, and St. Joes having 10. Foster had himself a game, finishing the game with 5 saves, an all-season high for him.
This loss comes as a heavy blow to the heavily talented squad who started off the season with several promising wins. The team suffered from a heavy mid-season slump, losing their way out of the A-10’s championships, something that comes as a blow to first-year coach Taylor Thames, as his squad was off to a promising start at the beginning of the season. With several seniors and graduate students graduating in the upcoming semester, Thames has to look at his bench and his younger players as the future for his squad. At the time of writing this article, the La Salle Explorers came away with a 4-1 win against Columbia University, with Senior Forward Nigel Buckley recording his first collegian hat trick, with his three goals coming at the 55th, 80th, and 83rd minutes of the game.
While this win is important for the Explorers, coach Thames must develop his younger players more. The majority of the starters for the squad are upperclassmen, something that will affect the Explorers’ performance in the upcoming years, as his most developed underclassmen are Justin Brunow and Dominick Bachstein. Both players have received their fair share of playtime during this season, the first for Bechstein, who overcame a season-ending injury during the 2020-2021 season. Regardless, the Explorers and coach Thames are bound to face an uphill battle in the upcoming season, something that will be interesting to see.