After a hard-fought win last Saturday against Rivier College, the Emerson Lions looked to continue gaining momentum as they headed into Clark Athletic Center to face the UMass Boston Beacons. The talented Beacons squad, however, put the Lions in an early hole as UMass went on to win by a final score of 4-2.
The Beacons' combination of a potent scoring attack and physical defensive play wore down the Emerson players as Head Coach Jared Scarpaci was forced to go to his reserve players early. The bench provided some late action drama, but to no avail as UMass picked up the victory.
"We've never been down like this," said Captain Cody Schram, a junior media arts major, of the team's 1-5-1 record.
The majority of the first half was a defensive struggle for both sides, as neither could establish momentum.
"We've been playing well but losing," Schram said. "What we need to do is execute."
Getting the scoring started was UMass star Henry Marin. Marin added onto his team's lead in goals and points, scoring multiple times before the match was over.
Marin struck early (26 minutes into the game) netting a lofted shot over Lions goalkeeper junior Galen Wilk, putting the Beacons on the board.
Later in the half, UMass forward Emile Pierre-Louis scored his first goal of the season at 35:45.
After halftime, UMass continued to physically wear out the Lions' starters. Marin got on the board a second time by scoring his eighth goal of the year and increasing the UMass lead to 3-0.
Emerson trailed by four as the bench players came in. Among those seeing action was backup goaltender sophomore J.P. Rahman as he entered the game partway into the second half.
The backups provided some excitement as junior writing, literature and publishing major David Ayers scored a goal with an assist by Steve Francis, a freshman TV/video major. Francis himself netted a cross-field goal with an assist by defenseman Chris Glosecki. With 21 minutes left in the game, the Lions were on the verge of a potential comeback. The Beacons' talented goaltender, Paul Maniscalco, regained form and UMass did not allow another goal.
Scarpaci praised his bench after the game.
"This whole year they all have impressed me," he said. "They give us the boost we need and some are really starting to show that in the future they will become impact players."
Scarpaci also stressed his team must play solidly in order to beat better teams. "We played some good soccer throughout the game but small mistakes against good teams will end up with them scoring," Scarpaci said.
Schram agreed that the bench excelled against UMass.
"We had our usual starters out," Schram said. "These guys had a job to do and did what we asked of them. They did a great job."
Ultimately, however, Schram expects much improvement in the team's performance this season.
He said, "We need to do what we preach in meetings and make the negatives positive."