Resilient Chargers Rally Late; Fall Short

Michael Barone

WEST HAVEN – The UNH men’s soccer team kicked off their 2009 campaign Saturday with a tough 3-2 loss at the hands of Bentley University. Last week, the NE-10 Preseason Poll picked the Chargers to finish 12th in the league.

UNH Men’s soccer player #15 Matt Sarrazin
UNH Men’s soccer player #15 Matt Sarrazin

During the first half, the Chargers seemed to lack motivation and the Bentley Falcons capitalized early, scoring in the game’s 10th and 31st minutes. The Chargers’ lethargic start was certainly not the way head coach Joshua Krusewski anticipated the season beginning, he characterized the team’s first half performance as “lacking enthusiasm.”

However, the New Haven team that took the field for the second half performed exceedingly better. In the game’s 51st minute, UNH freshman forward, Roberto Novoa, tallied the first goal of the season and his collegiate career  with a rebound from about 20 yards out. New Haven sophomore goalkeeper Jonathan Creem, made one of six saves on a breakaway in the 63rd minute to keep the score at 2-1.

Unfortunately, ten minutes later, the Bentley lead extended to 3-1, courtesy of an indirect kick. Much to the crowd’s delight, the resilient Chargers continued to answer the halftime challenge of coach Krusewski by “proving they’re here to work and play hard,” again trimming the deficit to one on a header from sophomore Steve Gennuso.

The Chargers nearly evened the score at three, when sophomore Anthony Romano’s shot missed wide right just minutes after the Gennuso goal. The high energy offensive pressure New Haven began the second half continued through the final whistle, but unfortunately it was not enough to even the score.

The Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) had a nice promotion at halftime, selecting lucky students to participate in a soccer ball juggling contest. Two gift cards were given away to the first and second place winners.