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  • The Griffin

Men’s soccer struggles to finish in losses to Rider, Siena

By: Adam Gorski

Despite outshooting both Rider and Siena, the Canisius men’s soccer team failed to bury their chances as they dropped two more MAAC games.

The Griffs 4-1 at home to the Broncs on Saturday and followed that up with a defeat on the road, 5-1, to the Saints on Wednesday.

In Canisius’s first game of the past week against Rider, it was the Broncs (8-5-2, 5-2-1) who were on the front foot, tallying two first half goals through Matt Araujo (21’) and Sergio Aguinaga (36’) to put them up 2-0 at halftime.

The Griffs (1-12-2, 1-7-0) struck back in the 56th minute when Kodie Sarkodie turned in a header off a Jo Preci cross to tally his first collegiate goal and pull his team within one, 2-1.

The momentum off Sarkodie’s finish was short lived though, as Rider’s Lenny Cidolit would turn home a corner kick with a right-footed volley just over six minutes later to restore his side’s two-goal advantage. The Broncs would put the match to bed in the 82nd minute when Zaki Alibou struck to make it 4-1.

Despite mustering one more shot attempt (19-18) than Rider, the Griffs could only bury one of their eight shots on target – a problem that has plagued the team all season.

“The score does not reflect the game in any way,” Canisius head coach Dermot McGrane told “The biggest difference was that Rider finished some of their chances and we did not.”

In the Griffs’ matchup against Siena (7-6-3, 3-3-2), a brace from Jacob Sandun Arachchige-Jensen contributed to five unanswered Saints goals that would bury Canisius. Once again, the Griffs would outshoot their opponent both in shot attempts (16-10) and shots on target (9-8) but were unable to find the back of the net more than once.

Jacob Pacheco would get Siena on the board in the 27th minute, a 1-0 lead the Saints would hang onto until the half.

Sandun Arachchige-Jensen would tally his first of the match shortly after the break in the 47th minute, and a trio of Saints goals just over seven minutes apart courtesy of Nick Fernandes (64’), Sandun Arachchige-Jensen (69’) and Jack Mendrysa (71’) would put the Saints up 5-0 and the match well out of reach for the Griffs.

Canisius’ lone strike came in the 77th minute courtesy of Lachlan Beever, as he followed up on a rebound after Alessio Atzori’s shot from distance was saved to make it 5-1, good for the Australian’s fourth goal of the season.

The loss to Siena combined with other results around the MAAC eliminated Canisius from playoff contention, as the Griffs sit on three points with two matches to play while eighth place Manhattan sits on ten points.

Canisius will round out the 2021 season with senior day at 1 p.m. on Oct. 30 as they welcome Fairfield before playing their final match on the road against rival Niagara on Nov. 3, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m.

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