Men’s soccer beat rival Hunter CollegePosted on September 19, 2013 | by Willow Frederick
High pressure and quick passes set the scene for the attack in the first half of the NYU men’s soccer match against city rival Hunter College Hawks on Wednesday night. Sophomore defender Robin Smith and senior midfielder Ian Cassell were a constant threat down the left side of the pitch as the Violets took it to the Hawks offensively.
With the help of several midfielders, the Violets created a few chances close range, but were met by some great saves by the Hunter goalkeeper Emmanuel Aprilakis, who made six saves. The Violets held possession for more than the majority of the first 45 minutes, but the game remained scoreless.
At the 48th minute, junior midfielder Nimo Bergstroem capitalized on a mix-up among Hunter’s back line to put the Violets ahead. Then in the 58th minute, a shallow cross matched with sophomore striker Sean McNitt-Gray’s powered half-volley inside the box put the Violets ahead 2-0. The intensity continued when several passes around the 63rd minute left McNitt-Gray running down the seam again with a composed finish to the opposite low corner.
Senior midfielder Colm Dillane was a standout with his footwork and a consistent creator of chances. The match ended with a Hunter goal off of a penalty kick. Despite an impressive save by freshman goalkeeper Lucas Doucette, the Hawks put the rebound away.
Even though the Violets dominated the game, they were unable to maintain a home shutout, and the score ended at 3-1.
“After we settled into the game in the second half we seemed much more comfortable going forward,” McNitt-Gray said. “We began to combine well in front of the goal and we were able to create a few chances.”
“Both of my goals were team goals,” he said. “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and I was able to stay composed in front of the goal and put the ball in the net.”
Head coach Joe Behan was pleased with the opportunity to get multiple players in the game, proving “how the young players have been improving,” which should be crucial for the team as the season continues and for future seasons.
McNitt-Gray was also pleased with the team’s performance and their ability to bounce back after their first loss of the season.
“After a disappointing loss to Stevens, winning against Hunter was a big step in the right direction,” McNitt-Gray said. “We were able to get our minds right and come out and get a good result. It was a true team effort tonight.”
The Violets will return to competitive play on Tuesday, Sept. 24 against the United States Merchant Marine Academy. The men’s soccer Alumni Match will take place Saturday, Sept. 21 at Gaelic Park in the Bronx.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Sept. 19 print edition. Willow Frederick is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.