SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Freshman forward Jordan Jowers scored his first collegiate goal as a Peacock in the 38' leading to a 1-1 season-opening draw for men's soccer with New Jersey foe, Seton Hall on Friday night.
"I am very proud of the players tonight," said head coach Julian Richens. "We put in a tremendous amount of work to secure a draw playing with 10 men for almost 100 minutes including the double overtime. We had two great chances in the second half to win it as well."
Six of the team's freshmen got their first college action today, including five of them making starts. Joining Jowers in their debuts were starting goalkeeper Robbie Anderson, Steven Parry, Dominic Laws, and Anton Moore.
"Jordan scored an excellent goal in the first half," added Richens on the freshman forward. "Six of our freshmen got their collegiate debuts today, including five starters. They will have learnt a lot about college soccer today."
Anderson got his first taste of collegiate men's soccer exceptionally fast, facing his first shot less than one minute into the contest, making a save as he fell to the turf. The Peacocks' first opportunity in the game came one minute later in the 2' after Seton Hall picked up a handball violation in the box, giving Saint Peter's a penalty kick. Ezequiel Cei took the PK, sending the shot to the far right but Seton Hall's keeper Steven Catudal timed it perfectly, making the stop to preserve the nil to nil score.
The momentum shifted in Seton Hall's favor in the 12' of action when Saint Peter's Justin Bergman received a red card, ejecting him from the contest and leaving the Peacocks a man down. During the 10-man stretch, Seton Hall out shot Saint Peter's 6-2, but the Peacocks played more efficient, having both of the shots taken on goal, while just one of the six Pirate shots were on goal.
At the 35' Seton Hall lost Jonathan Jimenez to a red card, making the contest a 10 on 10 for the remainder of the way. Just three minutes after the Seton Hall ejection, Jowers made a move into the box and nailed a shot to the bottom left of the goal for his first collegiate tally. The Peacocks would hold onto the 1-0 advantage until the very last minute of the first half, when Seton Hall's Andres Arcila scored the equalizer on a free kick from 21 yards out with five seconds before the half.
The score remained locked at 1-1 through the entire second half. The Peacocks were out shot by the Pirates, 11-4 in the second frame, but the Peacocks kept the Pirates off the board. The Peacocks missed on a late opportunity to score the game-winning goal after Gabrielle Bandelli's shot missed high with just under five minutes remaining in regulation.
In the first extra period, Laws had his game-winning attempt stopped by Catudal in goal at the 91'. In the final overtime both teams made final attempts for the win with the Peacocks taking two shots and the Pirates taking three, leaving both teams empty handed in the season opening game.
"It was a decent start and we look forward to continuing on the road away at Hartwick next week," Richens explained.
Anderson finished the night with four saves in 110 minutes of action. Bandelli led the Peacocks with four shots, including two on goal, while Cei had three shots, all on goal. The freshman duo of Jowers and Laws each had two shots in the game. Seton Hall outshot Saint Peter's 24-11 on the night.
The Peacocks record moves to 0-0-1 on the season. Men's soccer is back in action next week on Friday, September 1, when they head to Hartwick for a 7:00pm start.