By Trevor Whitney, Contributing Writer
It was a long battle for the UMF Men’s soccer team Saturday afternoon playing against their North Conference rival, Husson University, in a 1-0 loss at Leib field.
The Beavers took to Leib field Saturday afternoon looking for a win, but came out with a loss. It was a constant battle against their defensive line as Husson moved the ball down the field with nothing but attempted shots on goal. Ronie Morales, senior and starting goalkeeper for UMF Men’s soccer team, showed no mercy in the goalkeeper’s box as the Eagles fired shot after shot.
In the 75th minute of the second half, the Eagles soared through the defensive line with a grounder pass in the box made by Rod Ghanayem to Cooper Antone who made an overhead shot on goal against Morales. Morales saved eleven of the twelve attempted shots. Making the final score, Eagles 1 and Beavers 0.
After the game UMF Men’s soccer defender Tayoung Nuyepga shared his thoughts over the upset against Husson. “Overall I think the game was good. It was good because everyone played really well and everyone did what coach wanted us to do,” said Nuyepga. “Everyone went out for that win, but it was just unfortunate that we gave up one goal. Everyone played the part so overall it wasn’t a loss because we did everything coach asked of us.”
Nuyepga also commented on how well Morales played admitting, “Morales carried the team. He played better than everyone and he saved us so many times. On our defense, when the backline was out of control he pulled us out of some tough situations a few times,” Nuyepga continued. “At one point, when Husson had a break away, I thought it was a goal, but he saved it. That’s when I knew this is real. I think he had the best game.”
UMF’s Head Coach Tommy DiNuzzo also discussed the team’s performance as well as preparation for the game. “Going in we’ve seen Husson play a number of times this year, in person and through videos, and talked to numerous people as well. So we knew what they were going to be about. They made some tactical adjustments from last year and had some different personnel too,” DiNuzzo explained. “Last time we played them we scored a goal with ten seconds left to win so we knew they were going to be fired up and ready to play us. We knew all of those things going in and we knew it was an important game for us too. So we just have to prepare the guys as well as possible and I thought they did a good job and worked hard, did what we asked, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough,” said DiNuzzo.
DiNuzzo also shared his thoughts on the loss. “It was disappointing not to get a result, but it wasn’t a lack of effort. I thought the guys worked really hard. Husson scored a great goal. After watching it a few times, yeah we could have handled a couple things differently, but it was really just a half chance that the kid had a great finish. Disappointed in the result, but not disappointed in the guys’ effort at all.”
The UMF Beavers had battled the Husson Eagles for a win for six straight years until last year when the Beavers won with ten seconds on the clock with a shot to make the final score 1-0, breaking the Hussons winning streak. This year, Husson came back to take the win with 1-0 being the final score.