NJIT and Lafayette Draw after Double OT at Oaks
EASTON, Pa. – After surrendering three goals to American on Saturday, the Lafayette men’s soccer team came out determined to earn the shutout on Wednesday evening on Mike Bourger ’44 Field at Oaks Stadium, hosting NJIT. The Leopards did just that, but could not convert on the offensive end as the teams played to a double-overtime draw, 0-0.
“We were just committed to defending and getting numbers behind the ball,” head coach Dennis Bohn said. “They’re a team that will send numbers forward, so you’ve got to be respectful of that. I thought it was probably a fair result. At the end of the day, neither team really stepped up and made a play.”
The Leopards’ defense was anchored in goal by junior Brian Ehrlich, posting his second clean sheet of the season in as many starts. Ehrlich came through with seven saves on the night, seeing nine of NJIT’s 13 shots put on target and helped by two team saves off the line.
On the other side, Victor Pujades wasn’t dangerously threatened on the night, forced into just two saves as Lafayette’s best chance was headed off the line by an NJIT defender. In the 58th minute, a misplay on a back pass from Pujades prompted an indirect kick inside the box that freshman Evan Vare attempted to take full advantage of. After a small touch from classmate Ryan Goncalves, Vare chipped the ball over the wall and toward the left side of goal, but an NJIT player was just tall enough to head the effort out over the end line.
NJIT’s best chance at goal came in the first overtime period off a free kick from the left side, about 30 yards from goal. The Highlanders’ Andrew Nino found the ball at his feet with just Ehrlich to beat on a sharp angle left of goal. A tough shot forced a low, awkward save from the Leopard net-minder to keep NJIT off the board.
Shots finished at 13-9 in favor of the visitors, while NJIT worked 10 corners compared to seven for the Maroon and White. In the final non-conference game of the season, the Leopards were able to put 18 players on the field throughout the match, including the first action of the year for freshman Karim Hussamy.
The draw keeps Lafayette at .500 overall at 6-6-1 headed back into Patriot League play this weekend. The Leopards will travel to Boston, Mass. on Saturday for a matchup with Boston U., beginning at 3 p.m.