by Zack Downing, Staff Writer
The UMass Dartmouth Corsairs men’s soccer team opened the season with a thirst for the championship, winning their first three matches and picking up a 4-1 record following a victory against Salve Regina.
However, the Corsairs took it on the road last week and lost two low-scoring games at Eastern Connecticut and Salem State.
UMass Dartmouth came into their Eastern Connecticut game with momentum, having had several high scoring matches on the season and facing a team with only one win on the season. With captain Matt Vidal putting up scores in each game, the Corsairs felt confident about their chances.
Score-wise the game played out very slowly, but the action on the turf told a different story. There were more than twenty shots taken throughout the course of the game, and the Corsairs hit the goalpost four times.
They also racked up a giant total of fourteen corner kicks, none of which found the back of the net. The first and only goal came from Emmanuel Caicedo of the Warriors, who scored with only ten minutes left in the match.
That’s how the game would end, with a score of 1-0. It was a tight game, and it seemed the Corsairs’ only downfalls were their eight fouls on the night and simple bad luck hitting goalposts.
UMass Dartmouth cut their losses and headed up to Salem State, home of the Vikings, another single win team.
The Vikings surprised the Corsairs with a 20 yard goal eight minutes in, courtesy of Salem’s Ryan Smith. UMass Dartmouth wouldn’t back down though, taking shot after shot and putting pressure on the defense.
Again , the Corsairs took more than ten corner kicks, far more than their opponent. The team’s getting a lot of practice at them, but they haven’t resulted in much success. Along with a high amount of corners was again a high amount of fouls from the Corsairs, which held them back as the game progressed.
Following halftime, Salem State scored another long shot to make the score 2-0. In the last third of the game the Corsairs brought out freshman Danny Andrade to debut as goalie for the first time. To his credit, he made two saves and kept the Vikings out of the net for the remainder of the match.
In the 78th minute the Corsairs finally got onto the scoreboard, thanks to a header from Brockton native Fabio Araujo. That was the final goal of the match, with the game ending 2-1.
This game was the first win for the Salem State Vikings since 2008, breaking one of the Corsairs’ longest winning streaks.
In the last two matches UMass Dartmouth has put up twenty-six corner kicks and eighteen fouls, two stats that take some teams half the season to reach. If the Corsairs can keep up their shooting and greatly reduce their foul count, they’ll be back to crushing their opponents in no time.
The Corsairs’ next three games are at home, where they typically find more success. The next two games are against Daniel Webster on September 28 and Rhode Island College on October 1. Go Corsairs!