Enrique Carrasco, Editor
With the new school year off to a hot start, it was only a matter of time before sports returned to 20th and Olney. Luckily, that is what we got this first week back on campus and the week before. Men’s soccer started their season at home against Stonehill, later traveling to St. Francis Brooklyn, ending their trifecta of games at McCarthy stadium, facing off against the Manhattan Jaspers.
In their season opener, the Explorers were off to a rough start, with a goal from Stonehill coming at the 4th minute of the game. Despite the early deficit faced by the Explorers, they pushed through, and after 39 minutes without a single goal, fifth-year student Omari Cottorel was able to find the back of the net after a pass from Giammarco Rodio, equalizing the game right before halftime.
The Explorers carried the momentum coming out of the break, and in the 51st minute, Junior Justin Brunow was able to score the go-ahead goal after a rebound shot came off the keeper. Shortly after Brunow’s goal, Senior Midfielder Isak Sedin was able to find the top corner, putting the Explorers up 3-1. It was then that Cottorel was once again able to put the ball past the keeper, increasing the Explorer’s lead to 4-1. Despite this astonishing lead, Stonehill refused to go down without a fight, scoring two more goals in rapid succession, tightening the game up at the 66th minute. It was not until transfer student Talla Faye scored in the final minute of the game that the game was indeed out of reach for Stonehill.
After this, the Explorers traveled to Brooklyn, where they were defeated 3-0, moving them to 1-1 in out-of-conference play.
The Explorers then traveled back to 20th and Olney and faced off against the Manhattan Jaspers. The first half was full of physical plays and an abundance of yellow cards. In the 42nd minute, one of the Jaspers received his second yellow card of the game, thus putting the Explorers at a man-up advantage for the remainder of the game. Despite this, the Jaspers were able to score in the 47th minute, putting them up 1-0. The equalizing goal came soon after, with Sophomore forward Giammarco Rodio putting the ball past the goalkeeper and scoring. The score remained the same until the end of the game, with the draw bringing the Explorers to a 1-1-1 record.
Although the trifecta of games only brought a single win to the Explorers, there was an abundance of positive notes for the young Explorer squad. Despite losing many starters this off-season, most noticeably Center back Franc Gamiz Quer, whose presence single-handedly changed the pace of the Explorer’s soccer, the team seems to have amazing chemistry. The younger players on the squad seem to be learning fast from the upperclassmen, and coach Taylor Thames is training the Men properly, bringing them up to a Division I standard. If these trends continue into the season, it’ll be interesting to see how far the squad can go.