Rutgers Downs Men's Soccer in Non-Conference Tilt
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - The Lafayette men's soccer team went out of conference for the final time in the 2017 season on Wednesday evening, dropping a 4-1 match to Rutgers in New Brunswick, N.J.
The game started on the right foot for the Maroon and White, scoring the first goal early in the opening half. However, the Scarlet Knights answered with four unanswered tallies to run away with the game and cruise to a 4-1 final.
The loss drops the Leopards' overall record on the year to 2-12 as they enter their final stretch of four Patriot League games to finish off the year. Rutgers improves to 4-10-1 overall on the season.
Working down the left side of the field in the fourth minute, freshman Martin Ssessanga set up the Lafayette goal by drawing a penalty kick when Rutgers net-minder Rafael Pereira took out his legs on a breakaway chance in the box. Sophomore Chris Gomez stepped up to the spot and buried the chance low to the left side for the early advantage.
Defensive miscues led to the next three goals of the match, however, as senior goalkeeper Brian Ehrlich had a tough time, both on his own securing the ball and in his communication with the backline. The first Rutgers goal came to fruition after Ehrlich seemed to have a cross secured, but it squirted out and was able to be slotted past him by Bryce Washington in the 27th minute.
Seven minutes later, a cross found its way into the net when a cutting Rutgers player through the box caused Ehrlich to misplay the ball, instead preparing for a header. The cross wasn't cut off and it continued across the goal mouth and into the side netting.
An own goal for Lafayette finished off the first-half scoring and the home side added another tally through the second half of play to push the final to 4-1. Shots finished at 19-10 in favor of the Leopards' Big Ten foe, while corners were 8-3 in favor of the home side.
Next up for the Maroon and White is a home battle with Colgate on Saturday, with first touch set for 12 p.m.