COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's soccer team opened up Northeast-10 Conference play on Tuesday, taking a 3-0 loss against regionally-ranked Merrimack College at Duffy Field. Saint Michael's is now 1-1-1 overall and 0-1 in the NE10 and Merrimack stands 4-1 and 1-0. The Warriors, who qualified for four of the last five NCAA Tournaments, are fifth in the United Soccer Coaches East Region poll.
Sophomores Leland Gazo (Colchester, Vt./Rice Memorial) and Gabriel Pineda (Miami, Fla./Immaculata-La Salle) split time in net with Pineda starting the game and earning the loss on the afternoon. Pineda picked up one save while Gazo collected two in the second stanza. The Purple Knights were only outshot 10-9.
Junior Lars Sund recorded a goal and an assist for the Warriors, while sophomore Aasmund Joedahl and first-year Drew Lovely sailed in a goal apiece. Graduate student Josue Ruiz Maya and first-year Filippo Begliardi Ghidini added assists. Senior goalkeeper Lucas Rezende held the win for the day with two saves.
After a corner-kick cross was punched away by Pineda in the third minute, Sund took a shot from outside the box which was blocked by a defender. On the rebound Lovely headed the ball off of the right post and in. Less than four minutes later, Ruiz Maya took a shot from outside the box and Joedahl slightly redirected it with his head to the left side of the net at 6:49. Saint Michael's averted further damage in the 10th minute when senior back Daniel Castaño (Miami, Fla./Doral Academy Charter School) cleared Begliardi Ghidini's header off the goal line.
The Purple Knights looked to get on the scoreboard in the 34th minute, as sophomore Andres Rivas (Caracas, Venezuela/Palmer Trinity School) made an endline rush before slipping a quick pass out front to junior Cole McIntire (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood), but McIntire's point-blank shot was stopped by Rezende. Sund finished up the scoring in the 47th minute after one-touching Begliardi Ghidini's short pass to the lower left of the net from the top of the box. Gazo registered diving stops in the 51st and 73rd minutes to prevent further Warrior chances.
The Purple Knights travel to No. 3 Adelphi University on Saturday for a 1 p.m. kick-off. The Panthers won the NE10 Championship for the first time last year and have qualified for the past two NCAA Tournaments. Adelphi, whose national ranking is according to the United Soccer Coaches, is also ranked first in the East Region poll.