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page 22 The Signal October 25, 2017

Sports

Football

Football falters against Kean at Homecoming

Left: The Lions celebrate after keeping Kean at bay. Right: Glover runs for 33 yards against Kean. By Maxmillian C. Burgos Sports Editor

For the second time in five years, Kean University came into Lions Stadium and spoiled the College’s Homecoming game. The Lions struggled on both sides of the ball in the 26-3 loss to Kean, their fans sitting quiet for most of the game. When the Lions did have success, it was shortlived. After the game, head coach Casey Goff discussed the team’s struggles. “We came out flat,” Goff said. “We came out flat and played uninspired, unemotional football. We’re going to look at the film and see what we got.” Earlier in the week, the Lions looked sharp during practice. The team got in many snaps, preparing

for Kean’s explosive offense. Goff preached to his players that the game would be different than others. Homecoming would provide a lot of distractions, but they needed to shut those things out. “There’s a lot of distractions at Homecoming,” Goff said. “There are a lot of things that take you out of your mindset. Frankly, it is what it is. It’s great opportunity to see the team and see old friends. It simply is what it is. As a football team, you must learn to overcome outside distractions. That’s something that comes with time.” The Lions were only able to amass 169 yards on offense, a far cry from what they have been able to field the past two weeks. Senior quarterback Trevor Osler

struggled to get the ball to his receivers without tossing interceptions. The offensive line was blown up at the point of attack and as a result, Osler was under constant pressure and was knocked down frequently. Osler came into the game after two back-to-back career games. Unlike his previous performances against Rowan and Montclair State, Osler spent most of his time under duress against the Cougars. In the fourth quarter, Osler left the game with a non-throwing shoulder injury and did not return. “Trevor is a little banged up,” Goff said. “He got a little banged up in the game. A lot of that was making sure we are protecting our starting quarterback. Trevor is our guy. We are going to finish the season out with Trevor. He is playing

Miguel Gonzalez / Sports Editor

at a high level. He is playing intelligent football. We are going to protect him and that shoulder.” Sophomore defensive back Sam Jackson set his team up with excellent field position after catching a clutch interception in the middle of the field. Osler rallied the offense and drove the ball down field, showing his football intelligence in the process. To start the drive, the Lions ran the ball with senior running back Khani Glover, who racked up six yards. Then the Lions set up a screen play where Osler pump faked to a deep route, stunning the defense and allowing him to flip the ball out to Glover, who picked up a first down. see KEAN page 23

Men’s Soccer

Cougars dash Lions’ hopes for postseason berth By Miguel Gonzalez Sports Editor

As the sun shined bright through Homecoming festivities, the men’s soccer team lost its chance at making the New Jersey Athletic Conference Tournament after a loss against Kean University. On Saturday, Oct. 21, the Lions were defeated by Kean, 3-2, in a back-and-forth matchup. The team then bounced back on Sunday, Oct. 22, when they pounced on the College of Saint Vincent Dolphins, 9-0. Heading into Saturday’s game, both the Lions and Kean urgently needed a win to keep their playoff chances alive. The Cougars were hanging onto fifth place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference standings while the Lions were making a late season surge for sixth place. In the 26th minute, the Lions struck first when junior midfielder Nick Sample dribbled past opponents and blasted in a shot from 15 yards. The Lions then fought for possession for the rest of the first half as both teams struggled to score. “We tried to keep steady possession and pacing during the game,” freshman goalkeeper

Michael Kayal said. During halftime, the 1997 men’s soccer team was honored by head coach George Nazario. Twenty years ago, the team reached to the NCAA national men’s soccer tournament final but, ultimately lost to Wheaton College, 3-0. During the tournament, the team defeated conference foes Kean University and Rowan University. “It’s really an inspiration to see this team,” Kayal said. “They remind us that anything is possible. It’s possible to make it all the way to the national finals. It’s crazy to think that was 20 years ago, I’m still 18.” Nazario was only in his third year of coaching when he led the Lions to the NCAA finals. He continues to hold the ’97 team in high regard. “The 1997 team was all about building character and translating it to the field,” Nazario said. Afterward, President Gitenstein visited to honor the College’s recent Blue and Gold Hall of Fame recipients. After the ceremonies, the Lions couldn’t slow down Kean’s offense in the second half. Kean quickly countered in the second half by pressuring the Lions until they received a penalty

kick. In the 50th minute, Kayal jumped to block a header shot. The Lions defense, led by junior defensive duo Nick Provenzano and Nick Zolofra, continued to anchor the team and block shots as the game progressed. In the 65th minute, Kean received a penalty kick after the Lions committed a foul in the penalty box. Senior defensive back Alex Noriega tied the match with a hard ground shot. In the following play, Kean scored again when freshman forward Vinceroy Nelson secured a long pass from the midfield and tapped in a shot from the inside penalty box. With the energy of the home crowd in hand, the Lions fought hard to score an equalizer. In the 76th minute, senior midfielder Peter Dresch sent a cross into the penalty box where freshman midfielder Ryan Vazquez leaped in front of opponents and headed in the game-tying goal. Ten minutes later, Kean countered when sophomore forward Kamsi Udodi skipped through Lions defenders and smacked a shot straight at Kayal. Kayal bobbled the ball and Udodi reclaimed the ball and put it through the net. With the team down by 3-2, the Lions scrambled to score another

Dresch dribbles past a defender. equalizer, but it was too late. “Each team had a fair share of chances,” Nazario said. “The goalkeepers from each side had their success and mistakes, but we fought hard to the end.” On their last home game of the season, the Lions rebounded against the College of Saint Vincent, 9-0. During halftime, the senior squad of forward Michael Kassak, defender Matthew Paulo, midfielder Kevin

Miguel Gonzalez / Sports Editor

Nelan and Dresch were honored for their accomplishments. The Lions offense flourished as Vazquez netted in four goals and freshman forward Abdullah Afridi scored twice. Paulo, Kassak and freshman midfielder Kevin Esteves scored as well. The Lions will conclude their season in Glassboro on Wednesday, Oct. 25, when they take on Rowan University.

Profile for TCNJ Signal

The Signal: Fall ‘17 No. 8  

The 10/25/17 issue of The Signal, The College of New Jersey’s student newspaper

The Signal: Fall ‘17 No. 8  

The 10/25/17 issue of The Signal, The College of New Jersey’s student newspaper

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