Men’s Soccer: Huskies winless in September

Men’s Soccer: Huskies winless in September

By Matt Nielsen

The men’s soccer team (2-7-1, 0-2-0) fell just short in an inspired comeback attempt Sunday afternoon at Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) rival Towson (5-1-2, 1-0-1), capping another tough weekend during the team’s winless September.

Down 3-2 late in the second half, Northeastern junior forward Greg Kilkenny streaked down the field on a breakaway and narrowly missed tying the game. It was the closest the Huskies would get to a tie score.

“We had a number of chances,” said assistant coach Adam Pfeifer. “When you don’t capitalize on your chances, you only have yourself to blame.”

The Huskies trailed for nearly the entire contest. Just 59 seconds into the game, junior midfielder Pat Healy scored his fourth goal of the season for the Tigers off a cross by junior midfielder T.J. Thompson.

“Giving up that first goal about a minute in, that was a heartbreaker,” said freshman midfielder Matthew Laning.

Less than 15 minutes later, Towson padded their lead when sophomore midfielder Mosca Cisneros scored his first goal of the year with an assist from sophomore midfielder Nino Mangione.

Starting in goal for Northeastern was freshman Mahmoud Talaat, who had watched redshirt freshman Joe Monthey play keeper from the sidelines during the last two contests. Monthey had previously missed time due to a broken hand.

“We have two young goalies in the position where you’d prefer to have a lot of experience,” Pfeifer said. “Now they’re getting it. Mahmoud made one of the best saves you’ll ever see [Sunday].”

Towson again extended their lead in the 56th minute off Cisneros’ second goal of the game, this time assisted by senior forward Sebastian Haensel. Down 3-0, NU refused to quit, aggressively challenging the Tigers’ defense. Northeastern out-shot Towson 26-20 on Sunday, a rare feat during the Huskies’ offensively anemic September (5 goals in 8 games).

The Huskies finally broke through at 72:13 when Laning scored with an assist from junior forward Ahmed Talaat.

“I just scored off of a deflection; it wasn’t much of a goal,” Laning said.

Laning’s first tally of the season was the spark the Huskies needed. A minute later, Ahmed Talaat received a pass from freshman midfielder Alexander Volk and broke away from the Towson defense, depositing his second goal of the season in the Tigers’ net, narrowing the margin to 3-2.

“After a poor start they went out there and made it a game,” Pfeifer said. “How many teams go down 3-0 and come back like that? We felt like we were the better team out there.”

The Huskies’ comeback attempt fell short, however, as Kilkenny’s breakaway scoring chance was Northeastern’s last.

Northeastern started the weekend in much the same way they have throughout the month. The Huskies played a closely contested match Friday night at George Mason (5-2-0, 1-0-0), losing 1-0 on a penalty kick by junior midfielder Adam Lobene.

“They showed a lot of heart out there,” Pfeifer said. “They did everything we asked them to, but we just came up a little short.”

Pfeifer said he felt they were unfairly called for a penalty that set up the game-deciding goal.

“We felt were a little unlucky with that call, but that’s why it’s soccer and that’s why it’s the game we love,” Pfeifer said. “A few inches here and a few inches there and the score might have been a little different.”

The Huskies were unable to create any offensive momentum and were outshot by George Mason 15-8 (5-2 shots on goal).

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