by MOHSIN AHMED, Copy Editor
The Manhattan College men’s soccer team (6-1; 0-0 MAAC) brought home yet another victory amid Alumni Day festivities at Gaelic Park on the evening of Saturday Sept. 15. The Jaspers played the Saint Joseph Hawks (4-3; 0-0 A-10), as Joseph-Baudi led the team to their third consecutive victory.
The first half started with the blast of the whistle and the game quickly grew heated. Just four minutes into the start, after a throw-in by junior captain Tristan Doran, junior midfielder Milan Devuyst fired the first shot of the game just above the crossbar.
Five minutes later, senior forward Lucas Da Silva, slammed the Jasper’s first corner kick to freshman defender Simon Busch who fired it across the field in a stunning defensive maneuver. Fast approaching the halfway mark of the first-half, Saint Joseph’s David Grana managed to break through the Jasper’s defense and take a shot at the goal but was quickly overwhelmed by junior goalkeeper Marcellin Gohier. As one of the most talented and record-breaking goalkeepers Manhattan has seen in some time, Gohier managed to extend his feet in the nick of time for an impressive kick-save.
The game heated up around the 26th minute as the Jasper offense rammed through the Hawk’s defense. Junior Adrien Awana made a spectacular attempt at a goal with a header, was quickly denied by Saint Joseph goalkeeper Joseph Boehm, who then immediately had to protect the net again by a shot from sophomore forward Brandon Joseph-Buadi. Joseph-Buadi had another shot blocked in the 34th minute with freshman midfielder James Cotter catching the rebound. The first-half ended much like their last home game, scoreless and with both sides frustrated but very much relieved as well.
The second half was much more invigorating for both sides of the field. In the 52nd minute Awana scored unassisted with the first direct kick goal of the season for Manhattan.
“It’s my first goal at home, my first free kick here, so I’m happy with it and I’m happy that I can help the team and lead them to a win,” Awana said in a postgame interview with Go Jaspers.
Now with the score 1-0 in favor of the Jaspers, and with time slowly running out, the Hawks became more focused than ever. In the 62nd minute Joseph-Buadi sent a cross to his right and had it headed by Doran to Boehm. The Jaspers kept a tight defense, keeping the Hawks from scoring back-to-back. Gohier nabbed another extraordinary save.
It wasn’t until the 74th minute that the Jaspers cemented their victory. Fifth-year senior Troy Carrington, with an assist by sophomore forward Berti Fourrier, deked out the defender before finishing far left to extend the score one last time. The relief of another goal was somewhat dampened by a yellow card caution on Devuyst.
The win was an accomplishment in more than just name. The Jaspers not only improved to a record-setting 6-1 start to the season, but defeated the Saint Joseph Hawks for the first time since 2006. It was a proud moment for the alumni present as they have watched their alma mater shut out an opponent for two straight Alumni Day games.
“Tonight in the second half we came out with a little bit of fire underneath us,” Head Coach Jorden Scott said in a postgame interview with Go Jaspers. “We started to be a little more direct and we scored two great goals.”
The Jaspers’ win makes them 3-0 at Gaelic Park this season and 10-4 in their last 14 games at Gaelic Park, with a total of nine shutouts in the process. It should also be noted that of the 16 goals this year, 12 have come in the second half. Gohier, with a total of 10 shutouts in his career, now possesses the title of second-place all-time in program history.
Be sure to show some support as the Manhattan Jaspers square off against the No. 12 Fordham Rams (3-0-2) on Tuesday Sept. 18 at 7:00 p.m. in Gaelic Park, for a Battle of the Bronx that features two highly competitive teams this season.