Fresh off a 2-1 victory Wednesday night, the men’s soccer team (1-1-1) will take to the road again to battle Adelphi University (1-5) on Long Island, Saturday afternoon.
Adelphi boasts a strong offensive front, although it has been quiet as of late, only being able to muster four goals in the past six games.
Head coach Brian Scales is taking nothing for granted, however.
“We play Adelphi every year, and every year it is always a good game. They are very experienced, a very international group.”
He later added, “They are very difficult to play against especially down there because they have some speed up top. They have some guys in the back who are very good in the air and usually win everything in the air.”
The Panthers, who got off to a slow start last season, losing their first five games, including a defeat by Cornell 5-0, went on to win eight of their last ten match ups — a fact that Scales considers dangerous.
“They have struggled getting some results early on. They are always slow getting out of the blocks, but I think they won nine out of their last ten games last year once they got things rolling.”
However, a new season means new expectations and goals. In its third year of existence, the Atlantic Soccer Conference has been given an automatic NCAA tournament bid, and this will be a driving force throughout Adelphi’s season.
Under the tenure of head coach Bob Montgomery, who returns for his 25th season, the Panthers feature an international roster with players hailing from seven different countries with a variety of experiences.
Up front, Adelphi has a lot of strength, specifically coming from a junior out of Trinidad, Marlon McEachnie.
To deter all advances from McEachnie and his teammates, the Red will look to keep up its impressive defensive play. Led by senior captain Liam Hoban and senior goalkeeper Doug Allan, the team should match up well against their downstate foes.
With a talented roster, Hoban explains that the team is going to have to be prepared for whatever Adelphi throws at it.
“They have some talented foreign players. When you play against someone like that you have be on your toes, expect them to surprise you.”
Overall, Scales is proud of his team’s play so far and is confident that it will step up to tomorrow’s challenge.
Scales praised, “The guys in the back, I think, have done well and are slowly getting to know each other better. And the guys who play in the midfield and up front are starting to develop more connections… and combinations to get forward. I think it will be good as they get more familiar with each other in games.”
Leading the charge toward goal is junior Ian Pilarsky, who has been strong in the center, feeding the ball to the outside, and generally taking control of the midfield.
It will be these offensive charges that are needed to pass the strong defensive pattern of the Panthers.
In general Scales expects it to be a tight, aggressive game.
“I don’t expect it to be a high scoring game, but I didn’t expect us to score five against them last year. It’s all about taking your chances. It will be a real battle.”
On Long Island, the Red will look to continue its strong play and notch its second win of the season. The team will be on the road again Tuesday against Colgate, and will finally return home Sept. 28 to take on the University of Pennsylvania at 7 p.m. on Berman Field.
Archived article by Kristen Haunss