Jacob Maddox maintains control of the ball and make leeway for the team. Photo by Autumn Walter.
After going without a win in their first three games of the season, the men’s soccer team have hit their stride in the past few weeks.
On Sept. 9, the Rams picked up their first win of the season against in-state rivals Providence College, with goals from senior midfielders Ludvik Benco and Noam Kolakofsky. They rode the momentum into their next game defeating Division I debutante Merrimack College, 2-1.
Last Saturday, the Rams headed down to Washington D.C. for their first conference game against the George Washington Colonials. The Colonials went into the game with a 2-3-1 record, with their only victories coming against Brown and Liberty.
“You gotta be a little more focused,” said Head Coach Gareth Elliott. “You only have eight conference games and obviously you have to pick up points to make the postseason.”
The Rams fed off the disappointment of a 1-1 double overtime draw against Central Connecticut State on Sept. 14 to prevail against the Colonials 1-0 in double overtime.
From the very start of the game, it would be a matter of who would be able to find the back of the net first that would walk away with the victory. Each team exchanged shots on goal with very little success.
It wasn’t until the second overtime period when forward Filippo Tamburini took advantage of a late opportunity to get the ball past Colonials goalkeeper Noah Lubin to seal a 1-0 victory for the Rams.
On Tuesday, the Rams took a break from conference play to head 70 miles north to Worcester, Massachusetts to face the Holy Cross Crusaders. The Rams have had their way against the Crusaders. They are 13-2-0 all time against Holy Cross, with their most recent loss dating back to 2012. The Crusaders have been struggling this season. Heading into the game, they were 0-6-0 on the season and have allowed 19 goals this season.
The Rams got on the scoreboard first in the eighth minute when forward Edvin Akselsen crossed the ball off the right flank into the box to fellow forward Filippo Tamburini, who launched the ball into the back of the net. The goal was Tamburini’s fourth goal in four games.
“Its nice to have a forward that is consistently scoring goals,” said Elliott. “It’s not easy as a transfer coming into a new system along with new players and trying to figure out the style of play and how the other players around him like to play.”
The Rams’ next score came in the 61st minute when forward Stavros Zarakostas fired the ball from the left flank into the upper 90 to make the game 2-0.
Three minutes later, Edvin Akselsen was able to notch the third score of the game from the penalty spot after forward Stavros Zarakostas was knocked inside the box by Crusaders defender Edi Mujan.
The Crusaders were able to get on the board in the 87th minute when forward Emmanuel Petrov tapped the ball past Rams goalie Stefan Schmidt to make the game 3-1.
The victory against the Crusaders makes it four victories in five games for the Rams and 4-2-2 on the season. The Rams resume conference play this Saturday when they head to Saint Louis to face the Billikens at 8:30 p.m.