By Danielle Achin
Rams Men’s Soccer faced off against the Eastern Nazarene Lions at Maple Street Field Sept. 5, losing 3-2.
The Lions were first on the board within the first few minutes of the game with a goal scored by Bryan Vargas, who chipped the ball from Michael Frotcher, scoring past the goalkeeper into the net.
Trailing behind 1-0, the Rams were determined to tie the game, but failed in an attempt to clear a pass into the net in the 24th minute.
The Rams quickly bounced back after their mistake and redeemed themselves, scoring in the 29th minute when sophomore Kunphel Sinha shot a long strike pass from sophomore Cameron Lau, tying the game 1-1.
Returning for the second half of the game, the Rams and Lions charged the field, both fixated on taking the lead.
The Lions were headstrong, pushing past Rams keeper junior Jake Hartshorn early in the second, sending Eastern Nazarene into a 2-1 lead when sophomore Sheelens Ostine scored, carrying the ball from midfield.
The time was ticking down and all seemed lost for the men.
In a last attempt to save the game, freshman Nic Santos chipped the ball from Lau, who sent a long strike in front of the net, tying the score 2-2 in the last 7 seconds of the game.
Silencing the opposing team, the Rams celebrated as they sent the game into OT.
Despite the team starting o; strong in the overtime period, the men landed a red card against them – sending one of the players o; the Held leaving them one man short for the rest of the game.
In the final 30 seconds of the overtime period, the Lions earned a corner kick, sending in a low strike near the inside post into the open net to secure the victory for Eastern Nazarene.
Although distraught by the loss, Hartshorn commented on his team’s intense defense never backing down.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get the result we wanted, but you know, we got to do what our captain said. Take the good, control what we can control, and we’re just going to come out at MCLA firing,” he said.
Hartshorn added the team has been stressing intensity the most during practices to help prep for upcoming games.
He said, “I think we started o; the season pretty slow – it’s definitely gotten better. It can always be better. I think just stringing along passes, getting our fundamentals down is big for us. Looking back on the season, it’s come a long way.”
Head Coach Dean Nichols also emphasized the team’s willpower to keep pushing and play as a team when it’s most important.
“It was a great effort by the guys coming back because we were down a man, unfortunately from lack of discipline, but the guys, they battled hard.”
Nichols is in his 19th season as head coach and emphasizes the importance of training technical ability and bringing out the men’s competitiveness.
Moving forward with the season, Nichols said getting their record up in the Conference tournaments is the Rams’ main goal for the season
“They haven’t given up all year and they’ve given everything they can. We’re 2-10, we’re doing it all and we’re going to keep going,” he said.