Canisius loses one, draws one against MAAC opponents
By Colin Richey, Assistant Sports Editor
The Canisius men’s soccer team lost 2–1 to Mount St. Mary’s on Saturday and tied Rider 2–2 on Wednesday to earn a point in the MAAC standings.
The Griffs and Mountaineers battled closely while in rainy conditions, leading to a slow start for both teams. The first shot of the game for either team wasn’t registered until the 22nd minute when an attempt from junior forward Ely Sidibe that went over the net. A shot from Mary’s in the 25th minute snuck past junior goalkeeper Jack Petrie gave them a 1–0 lead. Junior midfielder Dylan Rice scored his second goal of the season in the 40th minute to even the score. His shot from the top of the box deflected off a Mountaineer defender into the back of the net. Mary’s would notch the game winning goal in the 71st minute, after dominating much of the second half. Canisius was outshot 15–6 but was awarded a season-high seven corner kicks.
Head coach Michael Tanke explained the emergence of Rice on the offensive side of the ball. He said, “He’s a really attacking player. We’ve played him at left back for all of last season and most of this season. So it’s not as if he’s found some new ability: we’re just playing him at midfield now. Take an attacking player and move him up the field a little bit and he’ll have a few more chances. Dylan provides a threat from midfield, and he can score and assist from there.”
Canisius earned their third point of the season on Wednesday, drawing against Rider despite initially trailing 2–0. The Broncos started with an early lead, scoring their first of the game in the 11th minute. Dominating possession for the remainder of the half, Rider doubled their lead in the 45th minute. This domination continued early in the second half, with Canisius giving up 12 shots before registering one of their own. Sophomore forward Glodie Mata was subbed in during a stoppage for a corner kick in the 67th minute and wound up scoring on the kick from freshman Mason Petrucci to cut the lead in half.
Coach Tanke had high praise for Mata. “He’s been awesome this season. He is ‘the forward who can score at any time.’ He’s been great.” When asked about the quick goal after the substitution, Tanke described it as “pretty incredible, you don’t see that too often. That might be the best sub I ever make in my life as a coach.”
Ely Sidibe, after being denied on a breakaway several minutes earlier, buried the tying goal in the 80th minute. Graduate goalkeeper Spencer Catalano recorded eight saves off a season-high 30 shots faced. Mata’s fourth goal of the season ties him for the team-lead in goals with sophomore Michael Switala.
Coach Tanke explained the difficulty Sidibe and other forwards face. “Ely is so fast. He always gets chances. He’s got to get better at finishing one-on-one with the keeper, but I also don’t think people realize how hard that is, because he’s at an absolute sprint. It’s not the easiest technique to do.” Tanke commented on the two opportunities Sidibe had late in the game. “The two chances were so close to each other, and everyone there, including Ely, couldn’t believe that he missed that and thought we were going to lose 2–1. And for the same player to get a second chance to tie it up was pretty cool to see. It says a lot about Ely.”
The Griffs will look to build off of their success on Saturday, Oct. 21 against Marist, with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Demske Sports Complex.