The Emerson College men's soccer team had a game plan and stuck to it Saturday in a 2-0 victory over Southern Vermont College.
From the start of the bout, the Lions were able to dictate the flow.
"They found their system of play and they executed," Head Coach Jared Scarpaci said. "We talked about keeping the ball on the ground and it was done."
Emerson sweeper Steve Francis, a freshman TV/video major, controlled the contest from the backfield. Francis said the team played "to feet," a style of play that emphasizes keeping the ball on the ground.
"We really did control the pace of the game," Francis said. "We played simple and really took it to them."
The Lions used the "to feet" style to generate many scoring opportunities. Southern Vermont College's goalie, however, was ready for the task. Emerson was able to get off 33 shots, but scored only twice.
Scarpaci said he thought the performance of the Southern Vermont College's goalie was impressive.
"He was a good goalie," Scarpaci said. "He was tough to beat."
During the first half, junior print journalism major Will Sagar scored the first goal of the contest.
"It was a good cross from Chris Glosecki," Sagar said about the goal. "It slipped right over the goalie, hit the top of the crossbar, hit the ground and went in."
Staying focused, the Lions came out roaring in the second half and had many scoring chances. Sagar had another opportunity similar to his first goal, but this time he was not able to capitalize.
"I headed it," Sagar said. "Beat the goalie. [The ball] hit the crossbar. But this time it didn't go in."
Just over an hour into the game, co-captain and junior audio production major Cody Schram scored the Lions' second goal of the afternoon off of a pass from sophomore writing, literature and publishing major Christopher Mathias.
"I got the ball from about 25 to 30 yards out, turned, dribbled around two guys and slid it past the keeper," Schram said.
Two goals proved to be all Emerson would need, as the Lions were able to keep control of the ball and hold on for the victory.
"We kept possession the majority of the game, which really helped us out," Francis said.
Even though the Lions won, Scarpaci said he was not thrilled with the amount of goals his players had based on the number of shots taken.
Scarpaci said this was the Lions' first shutout of the season and the victory was well-deserved.
"We were focused the entire game," Schram said. "We kept the ball on the ground and had fun, which is something we really haven't been doing."
Before this match, the men's soccer team had lost four of its last five contests. With seven matches left in the season, Scarpaci said the team can make a post-season run.
"[There is] plenty of time to turn [the season] around," Scarpaci said. "It is really a mental factor now. These guys need to start believing in the system and themselves."