Men’s soccer remains in playoff hunt

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BY MATT MASCOLO
Staff Writer
[email protected]

Junior David DelGreco has provided an offensive boost for the Gators all season with his six goals. The team will look to the transfer student from American University to help alleviate their recent offensive struggles and secure a spot in the playoffs next week. ANDREW CROFFORD/THE CAMPUS.

Allegheny dropped two opportunities to clinch an NCAC playoff berth after losing to Depauw and Oberlin last week.

The Gators were defeated by nationally ranked Depauw at home Saturday with a final score of 3-1.

After a first half that remained tied at 1-1 despite a Gator shot advantage of 5-1, Depauw took over in the second half, posting three goals past John Lichina,’14.

“It was really frustrating,” Lichina said. “We had some bad bounces and the ball just didn’t fall our way. We can’t really fix anything. We just have to do what we can to prevent it from happening again.”

The Allegheny offense also struggled, scoring only one goal against the Tigers.

“Depauw defended very well, but we could not finish on our scoring opportunities,” Coach Angelo Panzetta said, “It’s just a matter of executing with our guys up front more.”

The performance marks a series of recent difficulties for the offense.

“We seem to get the opportunities,” said Lichina. “We just can’t put them on target. It’s a little lack of confidence it seems.”

While Depauw struggled to put the pressure on the Allegheny defense and Lichina in the first half, the Tigers pressed on with their original game plan successfully in the second half.

“They were able to get more numbers behind the ball,” said Panzetta. “It’s all about who does it the full length of time, which team can put together a whole game, which Depauw was able to do.”

“As a team we need to finish out games fully,” senior Matt Weintraub said.  Recently we have only been playing part of the game when we need to work the entire 90 minutes.  I feel that if we touch up minor details and execute them on game day we can be successful, but we need to do so for the entire game.

Allegheny traveled to Oberlin Wednesday night with another chance to clinch a third place finish in the conference.

After 104 minutes of play and two overtimes, the Gators missed another opportunity to reach the NCAC playoffs, falling to the Yeomen 3-2.

The Gators had a 2-1 lead after Weintraub, netted one past the Yeomen keeper after a cross from Chris Brennan in the 72nd minute.

The Gator lead was shortlived. In the final minute, as the Yeoman were on their final push to send the game into overtime, Oberlin’s Oliver Miller-Farrell broke out of the Allegheny defense and put one past Lichina to tie the match up at the end of regulation.

“It was really upsetting to watch the ball roll in the back of the net,” said Lichina. “Another 20 minutes of soccer in the cold and rain when it should have been finished in the first 90. It was not the way we wanted to end our day.”

The Gators survived the first overtime after facing a barrage of shots that could have ended the game. The second overtime proved otherwise.
Oberlin’s Ari Schwartz was able to finish the game with a header into the back of the net.

The Yeoman outshot the Gators 26-19, 10 shots that were on goal. Allegheny had their share of opportunities as well, but failed to capitalize, posting 9 shots on goal.

Allegheny is headed into their final match this weekend needing a win or a tie to capture an NCAC playoff berth.

If the Gators win, they clinch third place in the NCAC and would travel to Depauw on Wednesday in the NCAC semifinals. A tie or a Kenyon loss would also put the Gators in the playoff race.

Allegheny travels to nationally fourth ranked Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday for a last chance to reach their preseason goal.

“We have everything to play for,” said Lichina. We have to go to OWU and get a win. It’s going to be tough, but we can do it. If not, maybe we’ll catch some luck and still get to play next week.”

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