From a coach’s perspective, sloppy and careless play can put a damper on any game, even a win. That was the case Wednesday following the men’s soccer team’s game versus Drexel.
The Owls won, 2-1, and showed signs of snapping out of their offensive funk, but coach Dave MacWilliams said he was not satisfied with the performance of his team, offensively or defensively.
The Owls led at halftime, 2-0, controlling the pace of the half. The Owls were without star defenseman Joe Brocker, who received a red card in Sunday’s match, which warrants an automatic one-game suspension.
During the final 20 minutes of the second half, however, the Dragons had the bulk of the scoring chances.
Freshman goalkeeper Bryant Hosler, who continues to fill in for the injured Tony Pratico, had to make a number of saves to preserve the Owls’ lead in the closing minutes.
The only shot that got by Hosler came in the 85th minute, when the Dragons’ Andy Schneider scored to slice the lead in half, 2-1.
Hosler admitted that he wanted to get the shutout, but was satisfied with earning the win.
The same could not be said regarding the Owls’ coach.
“We’re not playing very intelligent,” said MacWilliams of the Owls defense. “We were up 2-0 and we got [defenders] going forward, where all they should be doing is getting the ball and knocking it [out of the zone].”
After the game, Hosler wasn’t sure how to describe the team’s performance in the second half.
“I don’t know if it’s a defensive lapse,” he said. “It could be the whole team being a little out of shape, I don’t know.”
He went on to stress the importance of learning how to play with the lead, and referred to the game last Sunday when the Owls blew a one-goal lead with under two minutes remaining. The Owls eventually won on a penalty kick.
MacWilliams said he is starting to see glimpses of the offense coming together, but said it still lacks chemistry.
“When things aren’t going right, we’re pointing fingers instead of really working hard,” he said.
Last week, Brocker had said heart is often what puts the Owls over the top, saying, “At times, we’re not the best team on the field, but what wins us the close games is working harder.”
If MacWilliams’ attitude is any indication, the Owls have not lived up to that claim thus far.
HOW THEY SCORED
Supplying the scoring for the Owls on Wednesday was senior Tony Donatelli and junior Ryan Heins.
In the 13th minute, Donatelli opened up the scoring when he split the Dragons defense and scored his second goal of the season.
Heins added to the lead in the 44th minute. Donatelli set up Heins for a near-goal in the 33rd minute, and the duo hooked up again 11 minutes later. Heins capitalized on his second chance.
Dan Murphy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.