NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Aug. 31, 2017) – Despite a game-high seven saves from senior goalkeeper Kwantarian Van der Lara (Stockholm, Sweden/Marshalltown CC) and two shots on goal from sophomore Santiago Corral (Buenos Aires, Argentina/Instituto Francesco Faa di Bruno), the Mercy College men's soccer team dropped a 1-0 decision to Southern Connecticut State University in their season opener on Thursday night at Jess Dow Field.
The Mavericks (0-1) drop their first season opener since 2014, while the Owls (1-0) have won four straight season openers.
Sophomore Manuel Achondo (Santiago, Chile/Colegio Verbo Divino) and redshirt junior Romello Fraser (Brooklyn, N.Y./School for Human Rights) also recorded shots on goal for Mercy. Van der Lara played the full 90 minutes in net to take the loss.
Southern Connecticut got the game's lone goal from Louis Greenway Tambini, while Ignacio Navarro contributed an assist. Noah Varonier made four saves for the Owls to earn the win.
The action went back-and-forth in the opening half with the Owls holding a slim 6-5 lead in shots. Van der Lara and Varonier combined to make seven saves in the frame with the game deadlocked at 0-0 at the intermission.
The second half saw Southern Connecticut start the period with a pair of shots off a corner that were stopped by Van der Lara. The Owls finally broke the scoreless tie with a tally in the 60th minute to take a 1-0 lead. Greenway Tambini chested down the ball inside the 18-yard box and fired the shot to the right into the back of the net.
The Mavericks followed with a scoring chance in the 70th minute when junior Mariglen Verjoni (Cornwall, N.Y./Cornwall) hit the post, but Mercy could not find the equalizer and the Owls came away victorious.
Southern Connecticut held a 13-10 edge in shots and a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Head Coach Pedro Velazquez and the Mavericks look to get in the win column when they host Chestnut Hill College on Saturday, September 2nd at 1 p.m.