by PETE JANNY, Staff Writer
MSOC: MANHATTAN 1, RIDER 0
The Manhattan College Jaspers (10-3-0; MAAC 3-2) got back to their winning ways at Gaelic Park on the evening of Oct. 10 as junior midfielder Milan Devuyst’s goal in overtime lifted the Jaspers to a 1-0 victory over the Rider University Broncs (4-6-1; MAAC 3-1-0).
The win was of significant importance for the Jaspers as they surpassed the Broncs in the MAAC standings and improved their overall standing in the conference. As is the case for most conference games, wins don’t come easily and Wednesday night was no different.
Right from the get-go, both teams asserted themselves physically and maintained an aggressive approach for the duration of the game. This fiery spirit paid dividends as both teams continually aggravated each other and prevented one another from establishing momentum. Despite Rider’s intense play, Manhattan played with aplomb and posted advantages in shots (12-9) and corner kicks (4-2).
A steadfast defensive commitment from both sides characterized much of the first half, with the exception of a few chances that almost broke the deadlock. The Jaspers’ first real chance arose in the 31st minute off a corner when sophomore striker Berti Fourrier put a head on the ball that went just wide of the target. Five minutes later, the Broncs created their first real threat when junior striker Clement Bourret found some daylight just inside the 18-yard box, but slipped and was forced to rush a shot that was easily handled by Manhattan senior keeper Marcellin Gohier.
Manhattan head coach Jorden Scott stressed the importance of maintaining a high level of focus for the entirety of conference games, which tend to have an unpredictable element to them. Overall, Scott was enthused by his team’s exceptional response coming on the heels of a tough loss against Quinnipiac.
“It’s a grueling schedule,” said Scott in a postgame interview with Go Jaspers. “When you find teams at the top, there’s a really small margin for winning and losing. We were on the receiving end over the weekend, but tonight we were fortunate to get the goal.”
That decisive goal Scott alluded to was procured within the first 30 seconds of overtime and was the culmination of Manhattan’s adamant pursuit of getting back in the win column.
Junior defender Angee Komano wasted no time at the start of the first overtime as he came flying down the left sideline and delivered a beautiful ball to the back post where fifth-year forward Troy Carrington was positioned. Carrington’s gentle touch set up Devuyst in front of the net, whose initial shot was denied by Rider’s sophomore keeper Pablo Gatinois before his rebound found the back of the net.
“The first one I missed, and it came back to my feet so I was able to put the second one in,” said Devuyst in a postgame interview with Go Jaspers.
Devuyst is currently in the midst of his second season with Manhattan after transferring from Old Dominion University. Even though the goal was Devuyst’s first at Manhattan, he was more interested in talking about the importance of this win for his team.
“This was really good for the team because we needed that win, especially coming off the loss against Quinnipiac,” said Devuyst in the interview with Go Jaspers.
Scott praised Devuyst’s timely heroics as his team improved to 3-0 following a loss this season.
“He made a run in the box for the cross and from his position that’s a good 50-yard run,” said Scott in the interview with Go Jaspers. “And that’s what we need, guys who are ready to step up and he deserves this one because he’s been working hard.”
In what has been a magical season thus far for the Jaspers, Devuyst’s winner provided the latest wave of exhilaration for this team. In addition, Wednesday night’s clean sheet had added significance for Gohier as he earned a program-record 12th career shutout. As a team, the win tied a program-best 10th victory on the season as they appear destined to leave their mark on the record books.
While the Jaspers fell 2-1 to Marist in Poughkeepsie on Oct. 13, they will have their eyes set on history when they host Iona on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7:00 p.m.