After coming off their first win of the season at St. Francis-Brooklyn, the Manhattan Jaspers (2-1) men’s soccer team lost 3-1 to the Fordham Rams (2-2-1).
At St. Francis, senior captain Tommy Amos said the Jaspers’ “fitness prevailed in the end” to help lead them to victory. Against the Rams, sophomore Daniel Laguna Kennedy, who scored the Jaspers’ only goal on a penalty kick, said almost the complete opposite.
“Our legs were tired,” said Kennedy, “but there’s no excuse. We should’ve probably done better.”
What Exactly Went Wrong?
The Jaspers are built on the ability to possess the ball. Junior captain Alex Shackley thought they did that well enough in the first half of the game for about the first 20 minutes “and then because we weren’t getting in [near goal] and getting enough shots on goal, we kind of panicked, forced the ball a little bit.”
He said the Rams came out in the second half aggressively causing the Jaspers to falter on goal scoring chances and leaving some opposing players open, which eventually led to their defeat.
“We made a few mistakes defensively,” Shackley said, “and in the end, that just cost us.”
Senior Ram Andres Penfold torched the Jaspers on the offensive end. He scored two of the three Rams’ goals scored, with the second shot from about 40 yards away from the net.
He said his first shot was due to practice and his second he dubbed as “instinctive.” He remained a team player by crediting the victory to his team.
“I thought we came out a little bit flat in the first half, to be honest,” said Penfold, “but halftime we made a couple tactical changes and the coaches talked to us about what we needed to do better, and I think it shows great character that our team responded and that we were able to put in a much better second half performance then we were in the first half.”
Aside from Penfold’s great individual performance, Rams Head Coach Jim McElderry said the win was something much more micro then the team itself.
“The big difference for us was some of the subs we brought on,” said McElderry. “I thought they made a huge difference just with the energy they brought, never mind technically what they are doing, but just their energy and their life. I think the guys who stayed on the field were feeding off that.”
Is it Time to Worry?
The short answer is no. As the early part of the season progresses, Jaspers Head Coach Jorden Scott and Amos have consistently said there is still plenty of soccer to be played and not to forget freshmen are developing every game.
Scott conceded that “there’s little things tactically, technically we need to address.” But he is confident the team will be fine.
“At every juncture where we’d been challenged we went forward,” Scott said. “We didn’t just sink ship. We didn’t just give up.”
The biggest challenge during the game against the Rams was when freshman Joe Hulme was given a red card – meaning he was ejected from the game played and can be out for the next game or even the next two – for overreacting to what he thought was a bad call. That was one of a number of poor calls during the game by the refs.
Despite some calls going not in their favor, the Jaspers maintained their composure throughout.
“We don’t want this to happen in conference,” Scott said. “That’s the last thing we need. So it’s better that it happens now, and we learn from it. We try to deal with things a little bit better.”