By: Adam Gorski
Despite scoring their first win of the season on Oct. 2 against Iona, the Canisius men’s soccer team has been unable to build momentum in their matches since.
This past week, the Griffs fell in both of their away contests, first on Saturday to Monmouth, 4–2, and then on Wednesday to Manhattan, 3–1.
Canisius (1–10–2, 1–5–0) got on the board first in their matchup with the Hawks, as Federico Mereto managed to control a free kick from Reilly Boyer in the 18-yard box, giving him just enough time and space to power the ball into the back of the net, to put the Griffs ahead 1–0 in the 8th minute.
The Canisius lead didn’t last long however, as just 27 seconds later, Jonas Lyshoj equalized for Monmouth. The Hawks (7–3–2, 5–0–0) would tally two more goals over the next 21 minutes courtesy of Ben Zakowski (19’) and Bastian Hatcher (30’) to bring a 3–1 lead into halftime.
Ryan Dagelman would pull one back for the Griffs in the 48th minute after the junior buried home a loose ball in the 6-yard box; however, that was all they could muster in the second half. A Canisius own goal in the 77th minute was the dagger as it restored Monmouth’s two-goal advantage.
“Monmouth is a good team and I actually thought we did very well against them,” Canisius head coach Dermot McGrane said. “One of our players had a couple of letdowns defensively and I’ve never seen him play like that, and I subbed him off after that and found out he wasn’t feeling great. That was a big factor. We had multiple chances to score more goals than we did.”
The Griffs’ loss to Manhattan also featured their opponent scoring three unanswered goals, but this time before Canisius could tally one of their own.
The Jaspers (3–7–2, 1–4–1) tallied first, courtesy of Omar Torres in the 13th minute, which gave them a 1–0 lead that they hung onto until halftime. In the second half, strikes from Ronaldo Da Silva (58’) and Brandon Joseph-Buadi (61’) catapulted Manhattan ahead to a three-goal advantage.
Things got testy for the Jaspers in the 63rd minute, as less than two minutes after scoring, Joseph-Buadi was sent off for a tackle on Canisius goalkeeper William Howard which dropped Manhattan down to 10 men for the remainder of the match.
Howard finished the day with a career-high 12 saves in the losing effort, as Manhattan pelted Canisius with 15 shots on goal off 31 attempts.
Despite being a player up for the final 27 minutes, the Griffs would tally just once through Matt Spangler’s first goal of the season in the 89th minute.
“That’s not the team that I watch every day,” McGrane said. “That match is a bit of an anomaly; we played very poorly. No excuse for it, [there] might be some contributing factors but we still have to show up and play.”
After tallying a clean sheet in their 2–0 victory against Iona three weeks ago, Canisius has conceded 12 goals in the four matches they’ve played since, a defensive record that McGrane hopes to see evened out through their attack.
“Every team makes mistakes defensively,” he said. “I’m more concerned that we tend to get punished when we make mistakes, but we’re not doing the same to other teams when they make mistakes.”
The Griffs return to action on Saturday as they host Rider at 1 p.m., looking to get back on track and make a push for a playoff berth. They currently sit last in the MAAC standings with four matches left to play.