The UR men’s soccer team emerged from a grueling week of play with two wins and a loss. On Friday night, the Yellowjackets faced UAA foe the Washington University Bears in St. Louis. The Bears proved to be a formidable opponent as they defeated the Yellowjackets 1-0 with a late strike.

Head coach Chris Apple said, “We didn’t play as well as we are capable of playing. They deserved to win.” Apple praised junior goalkeeper Brian Minehan and the defensive trio of juniors Nate Rimmke, Brandon Laws, and Mike Springer. Minehan currently ranks second in the UAA with a goals-against-average of .91.

UR then traveled to Chicago to face the University of Chicago Maroons on Sunday, October 27. The Yellowjackets responded well to their loss on Friday night by defeating the Maroons 2-1 in a game dominated by UR. Freshman midfielder Nate Micklos opened the scoring in the first half with his team leading seventh goal. Junior captain Ben Cross served the ball into the box and Micklos soared above his defender to head the ball in at the far post.

The Yellowjackets had the run of the play, constantly threatening the Maroons with another goal. That insurance goal came in the second half by means of a two touch finish across the grain of the goal by veteran midfielder Matt Lilienfeld. Freshman Joe Pizzutelli and Ben Cross combined on the right flank to beat the defenders before serving the ball into the path of a streaking Lilienfeld. He coolly trapped the ball and slotted it into the corner of the net for his third goal of the season. Chicago grabbed a late consolation goal, but UR maintained control by emerging with a 2-1 victory.

Apple said, “We demonstrated resilience and character by bouncing back from the defeat on Friday and showed the team that we really are.”

Wednesday night UR returned home to face the number one team in the region, the SUNY Brockport Golden Knights. The nationally ranked Knights came into the game eighth in the country and riding a 13 game winning streak. However, they left the game with their streak snapped, record tarnished and heads hung low as the Yellowjackets asserted their authority over every inch of Fauver Stadium.

Lilienfeld expanded his goal scoring account in the first half, heading in a cross from junior midfielder Nick Wheeler. Senior Jacques Appleby made it 2-0 early in the second half when he deftly finished a serve from Ben Cross. Freshmen Colin Fernie rounded out the scoring with a slalom run from midfield, duping several defenders before slotting past a helpless keeper.

With just three games remaining in the season the Yellowjackets boast a record of 10-4-2, 3-3 in the UAA. Given their No. 4 ranking in the Northeast region and recent performances, UR stands on the brink of receiving a at-large bid for the NCAA tournament. Apple said, “There are an infinite number of scenarios that could play out for the NCAA tournament, we are going to focus on what we can control: the next two games.”

The Yellowjackets have their final home game this Saturday versus UAA opponent Brandeis at Fauver Stadium at 7p.m.

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