Men’s Soccer team grounds the Hawks in 2-1 win


Enrique Carrasco, Editor

Credit La Salle Men’s Soccer

On Sat., Sept. 24, the La Salle Explorers Men’s soccer team traveled to St. Joseph’s University for their second conference game of the season. The Explorers went into the game 1-5-2 in the season (0-1 in conference play) and were looking to better their record, as well as their standings within the conference. 

The game was off to a rough start for the Explorers when Junior defender Aimar Leunda lost control of the ball in the backfield, allowing St Joe to get possession, cross the ball, and ultimately find the back of the net only 18 seconds into the game. It seemed like this goal really affected their game plan, as the Hawks maintained most of the momentum in the first half of the game. Towards the end of the first half, the Explorers gave away a crucial penalty kick after a handball call was made inside of the penalty box. Luckily, Freshman Goalkeeper Filip Sabatti was able to dive low in the perfect direction, perfectly stopping the penalty shot from the Hawks. This penalty stop gave the Explorers the momentum that they needed, and the team seemed like a completely new team. La Salle ended the half down 1-0 but carried all the momentum in the game.

At the beginning of the second half, the explorers continued their momentum and came out of the locker room in full swing. The Explorers were full of energy and continued their aggressive offense to full effect. It was not until the 73rd minute of the game that the Explorers were able to tie the game after Sophomore defender Andres Rodriguez was able to get the ball past the keeper by capitalizing on a blocked shot that rebounded to him. The Explorers used this lapse in defense to their advantage, and two minutes after their first goal, were once again able to find the back of the net after Omari Cotterell was able to send a long pass down the field to a wide-open Nigel Buckley. Buckley drove the ball down the field and managed to put the Explorers up 2-1. St Joe’s did not give up so easily, though, having several corner kicks in the final minutes of the game. Despite this, the Explorer’s defense was able to hold strong and maintained the team’s lead until the end of the game. 

Despite this win for the Explorers, a dark cloud still looms over the team. The team is still 2-5-2 in the season and every game from here on out counts. The Explorers have had trouble finishing attacks, and this has translated to the various defeats the Explorers have suffered. The Explorers must ensure that they win every game from here on out if they want any possibility of making it to the playoffs. This win over the hawks was a perfect step in the right direction for the Explorers, and cannot wait to see what they do next.

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