The University of Rhode Island men’s soccer team brought their unbeaten streak to five games with a 0-0 draw againstÂ the University of AlbanyÂ at the Kingston Soccer Complex on Saturday night.
Rhode Island’s record sits at 4-3-3 after the draw,Â marking the longest unbeatenÂ streak for the Rams since 2007. Compared to last season, Rhode Island already has double the amount of total wins on the year.
“Each of our three draws this seasonÂ have come from matches that go into extra time,” Rhode Island head coach Gareth Elliott said. “This is our second overtime draw of the week following a 1-1 draw at Bryant last Wednesday.Â We had our scoringÂ opportunities,Â but gave awayÂ far too many shots on net today.”
Rhode Island and Albany bothÂ took 20 shots on the night, however only five of Rhode Island’s shots were on netÂ while Albany had 12 on target.Â Â Freshman goalkeeper NilsÂ LeifhelmÂ recorded all 12 saves for Rhode Island on the afternoon earning his fourth shutout of the season.Â Over his last 569:15 minutes played, LeifhelmÂ has only allowed two goals.
Leifhelm’sÂ career-high, 12-save performance marks the secondÂ most saves made in one match for an Atlantic 10 goalkeeper this season.Â Leifhelm was named Atlantic 10 Co-Rookie of the Week for his efforts.
“Nils’ performanceÂ for us this afternoon was outstanding especially for a freshman goalkeeper,” Elliott said. “He was tested more than he should have been, but he made the necessary stopsÂ to keep us in a position to receive points. Nils has been an important part of ourÂ teams success to this point, and he is only going to continue being an anchor for our defense in future years.”
In the 102nd minute of the match Rhode Island freshman Daniel Murphy had a chance to head home the victory goal, but it was snatched up by Albany goalkeeper Tim Allen. Albany had their closest chance to take the game winner withÂ 3:28 left to go in regulation before the goal was called offside.
Rhode Island senior Matt Sykes led the Rams, tallying seven shots on the evening. Junior Ryan Oakley and Murphy each took five of the 20 total shots.
“Although we would haveÂ rather walked away with a victory tonight our team continues to work extremely hard for theÂ results,”Â Elliott said. “Defensively we could have done much better, but we will continue to make improvements on both ends in order to keep the success going.”
Rhode Island getsÂ back to action Sunday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m.Â when they travel to Jack Coffey Field to face Fordham University to kick off Atlantic 10 play.Â Fordham is 3-4-1 to start the season with all three victories coming at home.