Trinity Soccer Struggles vs. Hamilton

Saturday, September 16, 2017: What began as a cloudy day turned out to be a scorcher as the Trinity men’s (1-3-0) and women’s (1-4-0) soccer teams each took on Hamilton College. Searching for their first NESCAC conference wins, both teams came up short, falling 0-1 to the Continentals. Welcoming a new field has brought a fresh sense of enthusiasm to Bantam soccer this fall. New player dugouts, bleachers, and of course, the field bear striking resemblance to a FIFA stadium.
The women’s team kicked off game day off at 11:00 a.m. In the first half, both sides played textbook soccer, applying continuous offensive pressure and testing each other’s defenses. The Bantams demonstrated excellent ball control and footwork as they made their way through the Hamilton defense. With 21 minutes left in the first half, the Bantams won a corner kick, igniting the crowd at a chance for the Bantams to take the lead. The Bantam kick curled just inside the goalie box, but Hamilton’s defense stood strong and regained control of the ball. Into the second half the score remained 0-0, with neither side forfeiting any real scoring opportunities. The Continentals, who were buzzing in the final five minutes, had numerous attempts to take the win. Trinity’s defense, along with goalkeeper Julia Pitino (’18), fought hard to keep the game tied through regulation, sending it into overtime. However, Hamilton continued on the offensive in the extra period. Five minutes into overtime, Hamilton senior Katja Dunlap corralled a loose ball near the Trinity goal and buried it for the win.
The men’s team faced Hamilton at 2:00 p.m. It was obvious from the players’ expressions that they were excited about Trinity’s fantastic new facilities. From the get go, both sides played hard and aggressive soccer. Hamilton was ruthless and chippy as they tried to gain control of the ball. The Bantams held their composure and played even with the Continentals for much of the first half, demonstrating excellent ball control and foot skills. Nigel Gustave (’21) showed off his advanced footwork on a nice rush, making his way down into Hamilton territory. At 34:06, Hamilton freshman Hagop Kouchakdjian scored the contest’s only goal, and the first of his collegiate career. In the second half, Trinity had several good scoring opportunities, with the best chance coming in the 65th minute. Alistair Matule received a pass with space in the Continental box, but fired the shot into Hamilton keeper Linds Cadwell. Cadwell turned away several more Bantam chances later in the game, and finished the shutout with an impressive seven saves. As one Trinity fan put it “The potential to win was there”, yet despite the numerous attempts to make a come back the men’s team also suffered a lost 0-1 against Hamilton.
The Bantams now take the to the road, hoping to build on the good moments from this weekend and win some games. When they return home, make sure to show your support for Bantam soccer. The men face Endicott under the lights on Wednesday, September 20 at 7:00 p.m, and the women return on Tuesday, October 3 against Wesleyan at 6:30 p.m.

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