by Caroline McCarthy & Victor Franco, Sports Editor & Staff Writer
Manhattan College rallied to end their four-game losing streak with a 3-1 win against Canisius on Wednesday.
With an almost complete starting roster turnover, the Jaspers have described this season as a time to focus on rebuilding the program. Returning Manhattan players faced the obstacle of playing with three entirely different teams in a six-month period — the 2020 team, summer league, and the now assembled 2021 roster.
“This is a completely fresh start for us,” said junior defender Liam Moore. “We’re playing a new formation compared to the spring and have a lot of new players coming in so it was really just like a rebirth of the Manhattan College soccer program.”
The team sported a 22-man roster in 2020 while the Fall has 32 players, 10 of which are new to Division One college soccer. Their record currently holds 3 wins, 7 losses and 2 ties.
“The inconsistency is going to happen sadly in this group because there are many new guys,” said head coach Jorden Scott after a 1-1 tie with Iona College.
Scott shares that traveling on the road tends to affect the team’s performance. Their three wins have been played on Manhattan’s home turf of Gaelic Park, where they have only lost twice.
“The toughest part of our schedule is then we go two weeks on the road,” Scott said.
With the last four games on the road, getting back to home-field advantage helped shape the win on Wednesday, giving the team the confidence needed going forward as they near the end of the MAAC tournament.
Goalkeeper Danny Dimarco shares that the team’s overall goal is to focus on their technical abilities and continue trusting one another to create a stronger team dynamic.
“I think our game plan is to minimize the amount of mistakes and to capitalize on opportunities that are given to come away with the most amount of goals and points per game,” said Dimarco. “We have grown and gelled together as a team creating a better environment for all of us, not only at training but in games so we can trust each other.“
The past four games have also dealt with disturbance in Manhattan’s starting lineup due to injury and suspension. Key players like midfielder Lucas Cyriacus, defender Ronaldo Da Silva, defender Simon Busch had an influential return to play on Wednesday.
“I don’t think people understand how good of a player Ronaldo is,” said Scott.
Da Silva suffered a knee injury earlier this year and had to undergo surgery during the team’s preseason. Still, he is one of the most influential players in the match. His goal in the 58th minute of the game secured Manhattan’s 3-1 victory.
“The way we came on the field today was just different than any other game,” said Da Silva. “Coming back from an injury I got tired a little bit but I was compensating.”
Oswald Annang, the team’s leading scorer this season, scored in the 13th minute against Canisius off of an outside cross from senior Brandon Joseph-Buadi. The two dominate the attacking force of the team playing cohesively as an assisting and scoring unit.
“Three of the four guys up front have played together now for three years, so they know each other,” said Scott. “We can use them in a variety of ways.”
Joseph-Buadi was removed from the game at the beginning of the second half for receiving two yellow cards, which resulted in him receiving a red card. By rule, a red card results in ejection so he will be sitting for the team’s upcoming match against St. Peter’s on Saturday.
Despite the loss of Joseph-Buadi for the upcoming game, players feel the win against Canisius has restored their confidence and will help them succeed against St. Peter’s.
“Unfortunately [we] lost BJ [Joseph-Buadi] because he got a red card so next week we won’t be playing,” said Da Silva. “But besides that, they just gave us confidence for the next game. Just go and keep on just trying. We had a different mindset today.”
With the match against St. Peter’s being played on the Jaspers home field on Saturday at 12pm, hopefully, the mindset will follow and we can expect another home victory for men’s soccer.