At 4-0-1, the men?s soccer team retains its unbeaten streak going into it?s first University Athletic Association competition this weekend. In recent action against Ithaca College, UR pulled out a dramatic overtime win at Fauver Stadium last Tuesday.
Down two goals with 2:46 left to play, junior back Paul Lehman served a long throw-in into the box that would eventually find sophomore midfielder Ross D?Eredita?s foot and the back of the net.
Sophomore midfielder Nick Wheeler tied the game up with only 19 seconds remaining. Sophomore mid-fielder Ben Cross played a long ball upfield to Miller, who fed Wheeler on the left wing. Wheeler sent the game into overtime with a perfectly placed driven ball into the bottom right corner of the goal.
The Yellowjackets refused to settle for another tie and dominated play in overtime. Junior forward Jacques Appleby finished a four-man combination play to take home the game for UR as he pounded in a cross from Cross with just over three minutes remaining in the first sudden-death overtime period.
Last Saturday, the Yellow-jackets tied Elmira College 1-1. Junior midfielder Jeff Parrinello gave UR a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute off a pass from sophomore midfielder Nate Giordano.
Elmira tied the score five minutes into the second half. Minutes later, Parrinello received a red card after two yellow penalty cards, forcing the Yellowjackets to play a man down for the remainder of the game.
Neither team was able to score through the remainder of regulation time and 30 minutes of sudden death overtime. Though admittedly disappointed with the result, head coach Chris Apple was pleased with his team?s efforts.
?Elmira was a team we should have beat,? Apple said. ?We went down to 10 men early in the second half but were still able to play well defensively and create scoring chances. From that standpoint we did a great job. It?s really a tribute to the effort our guys put forth that they were able to outplay them with only 10 men.?
In particular, Apple applauded the efforts of sophomores Brandon Laws, Cross and D?Eredita in the Elmira game.
?Brandon has a particularly good match defensively and initiating a lot of the attack from the left flank,? said Apple. ?Ben Cross had a great performance winning balls in the midfield, and Ross came off the bench at center-back and did a really good job for us.?
UR opens up the UAA competition Saturday, as they face New York University at Riverbank State Park in New York City.
A preseason poll created by the eight head coaches in the conference ranked UR as tied with Carnegie Mellon University for the number one team in the UAA. The poll ranked NYU, 2-0 overall, sixth out of eight teams overall.
The importance of this weekend?s competition is clear, according to Apple.
?The automatic [NCAA tournament] bid makes conference games so important,? Apple said. ?It?s critical that we start off on the right foot in our first conference game against NYU.?
The recent tragedies in New York City create an unusual set of distractions for the team.
?It?ll be a tough situation mentally for our team to go into, but I think we?ll be up to the task,? Apple said.
?It?s always tough on the road,? Miller said. ?Especially with the recent tragedies, it will take some focus and concentration from the team to come out with a ?W? in New York City.?
Miller is confident in his team?s ability to perform in the away match at Hobart College Tuesday, Sept. 25.
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