Sept. 25, 2010
Box Score |
EASTON, Pa. -
Head coach Dennis Bohn stated prior to Saturday's Patriot League opener against Holy Cross that his Lafayette men's soccer team needed to do one of two things: score more goals or post more shutouts. The Leopards answered Bohn's call on both fronts, finding the net three times en route to a 3-0 victory over the Crusaders at Mike Bourger '44 Field at Oaks Stadium.
Sophomore Kyle Scharfenberg scored twice in the contest, and senior Sam Feldbaum added a tally for Lafayette. Senior goalkeeper Andrew Pianko made four saves in his second clean sheet on the season.
With the victory, the Leopards move to 4-2-2 overall and begin league play at 1-0. Lafayette is unbeaten in the last 10 meetings with the Crusaders (7-0-3) and has never lost when the two teams meet in Easton (11-0-2). The Leopards also run their unbeaten streak in Patriot League openers to five (3-0-2). Holy Cross, which shutout Northwestern in its last outing, falls to 2-4-1 with an 0-1 Patriot League mark.
A total of seven Leopards notched points in the victory; senior Justin Kamine and freshman Jeff McLaughlin assisted on the first tally, sophomores Josh Brown and Sean Peckham contributed on the second and senior Stephen Macurdy made the pass that led to the third and final Lafayette goal.
Scharfenberg's first goal, which would prove to be his second career game-winner, came in the 27th minute. After senior B.J. Glenn was fouled near midfield, Kamine blasted a strong free kick into the box. The boot found McLaughlin, whose header went directly to Scharfenberg. The sophomore floated a shot over Holy Cross goalkeeper Evan Polanik, who had come out to challenge the play. The ball hit the back of the net at 26:14 to give the Leopards a 1-0 edge.
Lafayette would extend its lead to 2-0 exactly five minutes later, courtesy of another well-executed set. The play started with Brown sending a ball through a pair of defenders to Peckham. Peckham, who had his back to the goal and a pair of defenders between him and the net, immediately sent the ball back to Feldbaum, who blasted the ball from the top of the box and into the goal for his second tally of the season.
The Leopards entered the intermission holding onto their 2-0 cushion and continued to defend well throughout the second half. In addition to his four saves, Pianko made a number of aggressive challenges to keep the Crusaders off the board.
An insurance goal came late as the Leopards' offense consumed valuable time in the 84th minute. Macurdy displayed excellent ball-handling skills in the corner, and broke free looking for junior Jake Johnson in the box. The Holy Cross defense recognized this and Macurdy took advantage of the Crusaders' reaction with a perfect pass to Scharfenberg, who buried his second goal of the match and team-leading fourth of the season.
For Pianko, who has allowed just one goal or fewer in seven of eight matches this season, the shutout is his second of the season and the ninth of his career. The Crusaders' Polanik went the distance in net and made two stop in a matchup of this season's first two BRINE Patriot League Goalkeepers of the Week.
In total, Lafayette outshot Holy Cross by an 11-7 mark, including a 5-4 edge in shots on goal. The contest marks just the second time this season that the Leopards fired off more shots than their opponents. Lafayette also held the edge in corner kicks, 9-2, with Peckham consistently striking excellent kicks to give the Leopards a number of scoring chances.
The Leopards will take a break from Patriot League play this week, traveling to NJIT on Wednesday, Sept. 28 for a 7 p.m. contest. League action resumes next Saturday, Oct. 2 with Lafayette making the short trip to historic rival Lehigh. Fans planning to head to Bethlehem next weekend are advised that Lehigh will be charging $5 admission at the gate.