JERSEY CITY, NJ – Two second half goals were just not enough in Saint Peter's men's soccer team's comeback attempt on Sunday afternoon against St. Francis Brooklyn, as the Peacocks fell, 3-2. With the loss, the Peacocks record drops to 1-1-1 on the season.
"We had a very good response in the second half," said head coach Julian Richens. "We really took the game to them, as needed to be, being down 2-0. We were disappointed to be down by two goals in the manner that we were, conceding two set pieces, but that is collegiate soccer and you have to go and defend those moments. We had very good character in the second half and we started to show the team that we could be. I am a little bit disappointed with the third goal from the decision point of view; I thought it was a foul in the buildup to the goal, but we still have to go and defend it. We had some moments to get the equalizing goal but that wasn't to be today. There is more to come from this team, but we certainly won't let this get us down for too long because we have a game to prepare for next Saturday."
The Terriers scored first in the contest, striking on a header by Gliguem Sami off the corner kick by Antony Gimenes in the 29' of action. Less than 10 minutes later at the 37' mark, St. Francis Brooklyn struck again on another header. This time the assist came from a throw in by Leo Folla, finding Dominick Falanga for the goal just minutes after Falanga entered the contest for the first time in reserve. The Peacocks fell behind 2-0 at that point and took the deficit into the half. St. Francis was the more active team in the half, outshooting the Peacocks 6-3.
The Peacocks came out of the locker room on a mission, becoming the aggressor of the match. Just three minutes out of the break, the Peacocks got a breakaway going, in which Justin Bergman found a diving Dominic Laws who put his first collegiate goal into the back of the net at the 48' cutting the score to 2-1. In the 72' St. Francis got away with a questionable no call, that resulted in Ali Tounkara getting free in the box and finding goal number three for the Terriers after Peacock goalkeeper Robbie Anderson, left the goal to contest the shot but got beat to the right. The game looked to be out of reach for the Peacocks, trailing 3-1, but the team continued to battle. Late in the 87th minute, Gabrielle Bandelli let off a rocket shot that hit the left crossbar, deflecting back to Chris Rodrigues who secured the rebound and put the ball in the back of the net, cutting the score to 3-2 with just minutes remaining. The Peacocks continued to push to find the equalizer, as a corner kick opportunity was unsuccessful after a Terrier defender headed the cross away with just over a minute left. The Peacocks got one last shot to knot the match when Ezequiel Cei took a shot that was blocked sending the ball out of play for a corner kick. Bandelli sent the corner kick in and Michael Crentsil got his head on the cross but the shot sailed high over the crossbar with 15 ticks remaining, ending any hopes of a comeback win for the Peacocks. The Peacocks proved to be the better team in the second half, outshooting the Terriers 7-4, and outscoring them 2-1.
The match play by both teams were pretty much identical as each team took 10 shots and both starting goalkeepers made two saves a piece. The Peacocks had a slight 7-6 corner kick advantage and the Terriers had a 6-4 shots on goal edge.
The Peacocks return to the field next Saturday, September 9, heading on the road to face Sacred Heart at 2pm.