By Martin LaFica staff writer
Strong defense helped the St. John Fisher men’s soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Houghton College Friday Oct. 12 in front of a home crowd at Growney Stadium.
Senior defenseman Shea Lynch stood tall for the Cardinal defense, making multiple crucial stops in the last 20 minutes of the game, helping secure the one-goal victory.
In goal for the Cardinals was sophomore Justin Miles, who recorded eight saves on nine shots. Opposite Miles was Houghton goalkeeper Caleb Loew, who recorded five saves on seven shots.
Goal scorers for the St. John Fisher Cardinals included both freshman forward Justin Bonetto and freshman defender Matt Maggy. Freshman forward Brice Bogna scored the lone goal for Houghton.
After multiple chances from Houghton to begin the first half, it was Fisher who scored first. A cross from the right wing deflected off of two Houghton defenders before finding the foot of midfielder Justin Bonetto, who fired the ball into the net.
Seventeen minutes following the first goal, the Cardinals were awarded a corner kick that was taken by freshman Brennan Brown. Brown proceeded to place a ball into the box where Maggy headed it into the top of the net to make it 2-0.
Three saves from Miles following the second goal helped the Cardinals keep a clean sheet to finish the first half.
When asked if head coach Rob Searl had anything to say to the team at the half, goalkeeper Justin Miles said his coach reminded them to not get complacent with their two goal lead.
The Cardinal defense continued its dominant performance into the beginning of the second half and it was not until 27 minutes remained in the game before Houghton could cut into the deficit.
Following a goal that was called off for an offsides foul against Houghton, freshman forward from Kenya Brice Bogna scored for the Highlanders making the score 2-1.
The Bogna tally seemed to energize the Highlander sideline resulting in a high intensity final 25 minutes that included a bench foul on St. John Fisher head coach Searl.
In order to hold on to their one point lead, the Cardinals once again relied on junior defenseman Lynch. Following the game goalkeeper Justin Miles had nothing but praise for his teammate.
“Having someone like Shea who takes control of the game is essential, not only does he direct and help his teammates he will also put his body on the line for the team no matter what,” said Miles.
A win against Houghton effectively snapped a two game losing streak for the Cardinals and improved their record to three wins, nine losses and two ties on the season.
The St. John Fisher men’s soccer team will face Elmira College in their next match on Saturday, Oct. 20, in an Empire Eight matchup.