While Emerson’s meeting with Coast Guard last season ended with a historic 1-0 Lions’ victory, this year’s meeting was not as joyful, as the Lions fell 2-0 on Saturday.
Coast Guard came into Boston looking to avenge last year’s loss, which was Emerson's first ever NEWMAC victory.
The Lions fell behind early under a cloudless sky at Rotch Field, as Coast Guard midfielder Tyler Furry headed home a corner only 4:50 into the game. Furry made a late run into the box and was not picked up by any defenders, allowing him to power the ball by senior goalkeeper Lucas Fischer to make it 1-0.
Fischer said this lapse in focus early on was something that the Lions were desperately trying to avoid.
“They came out and scored on us off a set piece and it happens that quick, and that was the one thing we really wanted to avoid, conceding a set piece within the first ten minutes,” he said.
Coast Guard broke the Lions back line for the second time at 26:20, as Gio Ottomanelli swept a shot past Fischer from the left wing, making it 2-0.
Coast Guard dominated all sides of the ball with a high press and strong defensive line led by senior captain Austin Read. Through their high press, Coast Guard’s attackers wreaked havoc on Emerson’s back line, easily keeping the offense out of the back.
When Emerson got the ball in the midfield, there were constantly two Coast Guard players on the player with the ball. On the defensive side, Coast Guard used size to its advantage as it bullied Emerson’s attackers throughout the game, only allowing five shots on goal and one corner.
Head coach Bryan Harkin reflected on his team’s shortcomings following the game.
“Conference games are always tough, it’s always a battle,” Harkin said. “There’s always going to be a couple of moments that decide it and today we found ourselves on the wrong side of those couple of moments.”
Aside from the two goals, Emerson looked solid, something that coach Harkin touched on after the game.
“We did obviously push a few extra guys forward in the second half, and unfortunately we didn’t get that one to get the momentum shift, but I’m proud about how they came out in the second half,” Harkin said.
In the second half, the Lions began to figure out the Coast Guard back line and started to threaten the goal. It was too little too late, however, as the Lions were blanked for the fourth time this season.
The Lions (0-2, 3-4-1) are in last place in the NEWMAC. Their next conference game is on Saturday, Sept. 30th against WPI in Worcester.
The Lions’ next game is on Wednesday, Sept. 27th at Rotch Field at 6 p.m as they take on Lesley University (2-5) in the 12th Annual Charles River Cup.