The men’s soccer team added two more victories to match the program high for wins in a season, coming from behind to beat Colgate 2-1 on the road Saturday before dispatching New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) 2-0 Tuesday evening.
The team’s record now stands at 13-4, heading into a nationally televised encounter this evening against Lafayette at 8 p.m. at Emmitt Field.
Colgate, the defending Patriot League champions, came out strong, outshooting the Bison 10-4 in the first half. The Raiders were able to notch one goal before the break when Alex Weekes scored in the 31st minute.
Bison goalie Tommy Caso ’12 finished the night with a career-high 10 saves, helping to keep the Bison within touching distance of the Raiders.
Colgate controlled play early in the second half, and as the game began to wane the Orange and Blue found themselves in need of a score to tie the game. Then, in the 81st minute, Conor O’Brien ’10 got the ball to striker Josh Plump ’13.
“A pass had come into the box … and Conor was to the left of me, and he got his foot on it and was able to deflect it over to me,” Plump said. “The ball took one bounce, and my weight was carrying me back, but I was just able to get the outside of my right foot on it.”
Plump’s first goal of the year knotted the game at 1-1. Unfortunately for Colgate, the Bison would not settle for just a share of the spoils. In the 89th minute, Andrew Powell ’12 received the ball on an errant clear, dribbled past a defender and tucked a shot in the back post from 25 yards out.
“We stuck together as a team, defended well and created many good scoring opportunities,” Powell said. “This game showed that we are a very difficult team to beat and that we never give up.”
Plump agreed. “[This game] shows how hard we are going to fight until the game ends. No matter what the score is, people are always giving 100 percent effort and energy.”
The Orange and Blue took that energy into their match at NJIT. Neither side pulled ahead in the first half, but two quick strikes in the second proved to be all the Bison needed to secure the win. Luke Joyner ’12 powered a header into the net in the 57th minute, giving the Bison a 1-0 lead.
Less than four minutes later, Joyner combined with O’Brien to set up Plump, who headed the ball in for his second career goal in as many games.
Commanding keeper Will Byrne ’10 recorded three saves on the way to the shutout for the Bison.
The Bison’s 13 wins match the program record set in 2002. Tonight against Lafayette they have a chance to move beyond that team under the spotlight of the Fox Soccer Channel [FSC].
“The FSC game against Lafayette on Friday is a huge game for our team,” Powell said.
The team has been looking forward to this game all year.
“This game is a huge opportunity for us in terms of our league position, setting a school record and winning a game against a rival on national television,” Pat Selwood ’10 said. “We feed off the energy and atmosphere of the crowd, so the more people and the more noise the better. Let’s show the country what this University is all about.”