The Binghamton University men’s soccer team battled for 110 minutes against Monmouth to earn its first draw of the season in a goalless match. Despite going into double overtime and taking 17 shots, the Bearcats (2-4-1) could not finish their shots and only had two shots on goal against the Hawks (0-5-1).
“I feel like we let the crowd down without getting a goal,” said Binghamton head coach Paul Marco. “But the guys were outstanding today. Both teams played great soccer.”
The first shot on goal came early in the first half from freshman forward Matthew Cozetti, while the second came late in the second half from freshman defender Oliver Svalander. Svalander had the most shots out of any of the Bearcats with a career-high four, including several scoring chances near the end of regulation.
Freshman goalkeeper Mats Roorda also had a career-high night. While the Bearcats only had two shots on goal, Monmouth had eight shots on target, with three of those shots coming from freshman forward Anthony Arena. Roorda was able to save all eight of those shots throughout the contest, the most so far in his young collegiate career. Roorda currently has the most saves per game in the America East (AE) Conference.
“Mats did a good job saving us a couple of times tonight,” said graduate student defender Stephen McKenna. “I feel like it was really a team effort. The guys worked really hard during the game.”
There hasn’t been a scoreless homecoming game in 13 years, but despite the lack of goals, the crowd of 1,275 was riled up throughout, cheering each time freshman defender Michael Bush took a throw-in and when redshirt sophomore midfielder Lucas Arzan megged a Monmouth player. The BU Pep Band was also there throughout the contest to provide music for the game.
“I’d like [BU Pep Band director] Mo [Taylor] to bring the band every day,” Marco said. “He can even bring them out to training. I thought the band was great. I thought the fans were great.”
Prior to this game, the Hawks were winless at 0-5 and had lost 15 consecutive matches dating back to last season, but Marco said that Monmouth is not a typical 0-5 team and that sometimes the best teams in soccer don’t win.
“I know [Monmouth’s] record is 0-5, but they’ve played teams that are very, very good,” Marco said. “They’ve been losing those games on some set pieces — a penalty kick against Princeton. This is a very good team. I wouldn’t be surprised if they do quite well after they get a couple of their guys back healthy.”
Marco also pointed out a few players he thought played with excellence throughout the match.
“I think the backs have done very well with Mats,” Marco said. “[Freshman midfielder] Tyler Meotti’s been very good and Lucas, [freshman midfielder] Sean [Molloy] and [sophomore defender] Aidan [Sullivan] played really well in midfield. I thought [senior forward] Haris [Brkovic] came on today and was a handful. Haris may have had one of his better games today.”
This was the Bearcats’ last nonconference matchup before they begin conference play, and Marco seems hopeful for the immediate future of the team.
“From whistle to whistle, I thought the guys were really good,” Marco said. “We’re getting better, which is a great sign for us as we start conference play next week, but overall good performance.”
Kickoff against University of New Hampshire in the Bearcats’ conference opener is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, from Wildcat Stadium in Durham, New Hampshire.