By: Edward Perez – Staff Writer
With the Atlantic 10 conference in full swing, the men’s soccer team continues to work hard as they take to the pitch and face what head coach Dennis Currier says are some of the toughest opponents in the nation.
The Flyers kicked off the conference on a good note as they overcame A-10 newcomers, Davidson College, in a 2-0 victory Oct. 4 with goals from senior and forward Greg Enstone in the 53rd minute and junior Midfielder Kissima Bojang in the 56th.
The following weekend, the team squared off against George Mason University in wet conditions. Despite heavy rains and the fact that Dayton was on fall break, the Flyer faithful took to the stands of Baujan field, tying George Mason 1-1.
It was a physical battle between both sides and tensions were high as a few of the 18 fouls committed throughout the game looked dangerous; by the end of the match, the referee had shown five yellow cards to the Flyers and one to the away side. In the 87th minute, Brian Bates was shown a red card for a handball inside Dayton’s box, leaving the flyers to finish the game with 10 men.
Nineteen minutes passed until the first goal was scored to put the Flyers in the lead over George Mason. On his third corner kick attempt, sophomore midfielder Raphael Gamboa’s cross found sophomore defender Lalas Abubakar whose header was blocked by George Mason’s keeper and put in the path of sophomore and forward Brian Richards, who put the ball past George Mason’s keeper and in the back of the net.
Dayton held the lead until the last minute when a cross from the away side found their forward Jannik Eckenrode who headed the ball past the hands of goalkeeper Chris Froschauer, forcing what became a scoreless overtime.
“It’s always important to get a good start in the conference,” Currier said. “We have four points right now and played two of the top teams in the conference.”
“We’re a little disappointed in last game in not getting the full three points,” Currier said about the George Mason tie. “We’ve got a big weekend ahead of us and against two teams whose best chances of getting in are through the conference.”
The Flyers beat the University of Massachusetts 4-1 Friday, before falling to Rhode Island 1-0 Sunday. UD now stands with a 2-1-1 conference record.
With a lot at stake going up against UMass and Rhode Island, Currier said that the Flyers needed to match their intensity and hunger to get two important wins.
“A-10 matches are always tough so we just need to continue preparing and playing well,” said goalkeeper Chris Froschauer looking ahead to their upcoming matches.
The Flyers return to Baujan Saturday to face Saint Louis University. Ganetime is set for 7 p.m.