The last time the Emerson men’s soccer team won a conference game, President Obama and Mitt Romney were preparing for their final presidential debate. The losing streak finally ended when they beat the United States Coast Guard Academy 1-0 Oct. 8.
The game was also Emerson’s first conference win since the team joined the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference in 2013.
Sophomore striker Max DeLuca scored the only goal in the 31st minute to secure the victory for the Lions. This was his first score of the season, and his first collegiate game-winning goal. Deluca, a sophomore journalism major, credited his teammates as the reason for the goal.
“It definitely wouldn’t have happened without everyone on the team putting in as much work as they did,” DeLuca said.
Last year Emerson lost to Coast Guard in a heavily one-sided game, giving up 19 shots, 10 of which were shot on goal. They lost 3-0. Senior captain Duncan Bochicchio said that last year’s result motivated the team.
“It was a very frustrating game and we felt that the result didn’t really go the way it may have gone,” Bochicchio, a journalism major, said. “So I think we were extremely fired up for this one.”
DeLuca said that after his goal, the team kept the same mindset it had going in, which was to go forward and try score when they had the opportunity. In the second half the team focused more on defending to secure the victory.
Bochicchio attributes the defensive strategy in the second half to how the team has lost early leads throughout the season, and how during the later stages of the match they needed to focus on defense in order to maintain the lead.
Goalie Lucas Fischer made four saves, which led him to his second game without giving up a goal all season. The Emerson defense was also in form, only allowing four shots on goal. Those four shots are tied for lowest amount of shots on goal allowed by Emerson this year.
DeLuca said he wants to use the momentum from this victory to help carry the team through the end of the season. He said that nerves affected the team at the start of the season.
“The first game against Emmanuel, I think we all felt just a little bit more pressure on us then there really was and we played like it,” DeLuca said. “Now everyone is finally comfortable and everything is positive.”
One player the win means more to is senior Elias Romanos, who has played his whole collegiate soccer career competing in the NEWMAC at Emerson.
“It was really special,” Romanos, a political communication major, said. “it has been so long, and so many games, like seven or eight a year, of losing, and a lot of them, losing badly. To finally put in work and have it pay off is just a good feeling.”
The objective for the team this year, Bochicchio said, is to improve on last year’s win total of five games.
Emerson has kept their form since the victory against Coast Guard, and beat non-conference opponent Eastern Nazarene College 2-1 in a tight overtime match on Oct. 12. This win streak matches the longest win streak the men’s team has had all season.
Emerson could not maintain the strong conference play, as they lost to Wheaton College 5-1 on Oct. 15. The match started well for the Lions, as Gavin Faucette scored in the first 20 minutes of the game. Wheaton, however, came back to score five unanswered goals.
Their next conference game is against Clark University, the third place team in the NEWMAC. Emerson could be helped by the game’s location at Rotch Playground and Field where they have a 3-1 record.