|Manhattan Overpowered in Season Opener|
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The Villanova Wildcats scored three first half goals en route to a 5-1 victory of the Manhattan men's soccer team at Gaelic Park on Friday night. The season opening loss drops the Jaspers to 0-1 on the year while Villanova improves to 1-0.
Both teams played the first twenty minutes battling for consistent position but eventually the size and speed of Villanova broke through. Dylan Renna fed Kyle Soroka who blasted a rocket from 25 yards out past a diving Christopher Lands to open the scoring in the 20th minute.
The Wildcats would tack on another goal a mere 1:36 later when a scramble for a blocked shot found the foot of Will Cason on the left side. He then centered the ball to the waiting left foot of Emerson Lawrence who fired a shot into the lower left corner of the net.
From there, Manhattan turned up the aggressive play and found a couple scoring opportunities off corner kicks but were unable to make anything of them. In the 42nd minute, Villanova again used their strength to get on the board as Oscar Umar scored from just inside the box off a pass from Hayden Harr to lead 3-0 going into halftime.
Out of the locker room, the Jaspers tried to immediately swing momentum in their favor with a barrage of offensive attacks. Freshman Alex Shackley played well in his college debut putting two shots on goal, both in the second frame. Sophomore Eugene Heerschap was also a factor in the attacking third with a team high three shots in the game including one off a feed from Schackley that just went over the cross bar.
Despite their attempts to get back into the game, Manhattan couldn't match the Wildcats as they added goals in both the 78th and 82nd minutes. The Jaspers refused to back down regardless of the time or score and continued to press.
In the 88th minute, Naru Park found himself one-on-one with backup Villanova keeper Andrew Weakly. As Park entered the box, Weakly slid into him breaking up the play and earning a red card. It would result in a penalty kick opportunity and Tommy Amos would cash in beating Casey Defluri who replaced the ejected Weakly.
Lands (0-1-0) played the full 90 minutes for Manhattan giving up five goals while also making three saves. Meanwhile, Three Villanova keepers combined to make three saves. Starter John Fogarty (1-0-0) made two saves in the game with Weakly making one. Isa Konneh also picked up a yellow card for the Jaspers in the game.
Manhattan returns to action next weekend as part of the Gonzaga Nike Classic. They will first face host Gonzaga on Fri., Aug, 31 before taking on Oregon State on Sun., Sept. 2 in Spokane, Wash.