Flyers sophomore goalkeeper Marc Kouadio finished with seven saves, but it wasn’t enough as the Flyers offense “wasn’t accurate enough,” for head coach Dennis Currier. Photo courtesy of UD Athletics.
Peter Burtnett | Sports Editor
On a clear Saturday night, the Dayton Flyers men’s soccer team fell 1-0 to the Rhode Island Rams at Baujan Field in a key game in Atlantic 10 play for both teams.
The first half was fast-paced for the most part, but chances in the attacking thirds were limited. On one of their two shots on goal, the Rams scored seemingly out of nowhere on a volleyed shot by freshman forward Isak Oystese into the left side of the net to make it 1-0 in the 24th minute. Flyers sophomore goalkeeper Marc Kouadio made three saves in the first half, but was left motionless on Oystese’s volley.
“We didn’t get enough pressure on (the shot),” head coach Dennis Currier said. “I thought the kid hit a really good shot, he hit a full volley in the side (of the net) in the upper 90. The only way that you can prevent that is you get enough pressure on that ball and when you get enough pressure we fell back and then tried to get the second ball so (Oystese) had a pretty good look, but also, I thought (Oystese) did a really good job on the shot.”
“I was waiting for the second ball to come,” Kouadio added. “And then I was caught too high, didn’t have enough time to jump, so kind of caught me off guard, but at the end it was unlucky, but it happened, that’s soccer.”
Outside of the goal and the advantage for the Rams on shots on goal (2-0), the first half was relatively evenly balanced, with the Flyers edging possession 56-44 percent and corner kicks 3-2 at halftime. However, the Flyers trained where it counted most, down 1-0 on the scoreboard.
In the 53rd minute, Flyers senior defender Elias Harryson appeared to be pulled down (no foul was called), sophomore midfielder Joey Tawah was shown a yellow card when he fouled a Rams attacker just outside the penalty box. The free kick went right into the Flyers wall, and the Rams couldn’t extend their slim 1-0 advantage.
“(Perceived officiating mistakes are) probably on both sides,” Currier said. “Might have been some inconsistencies, but ultimately, it didn’t cause us to lose the game. I think for us, where we fell short is, we just didn’t put enough shots on (goal) to test their keeper.”
In the 64th minute, senior attacking midfielder Kingsford Adjei was fouled inside the arc just outside the penalty box, and took the resulting free kick. Adjei’s shot was a little too straight, and Rams redshirt senior goalkeeper Stefan Schmidt punched the ball out.
Although the Flyers moved up to nine corner kicks taken during the match, they were unable to put together a good chance to score and fell 1-0 to the Rams to drop to 2-2-0 in A-10 play and 5-6-2 overall.
“I thought the second half we played better,” Currier said. “We got up to their goal a little bit more, but it all comes down to accuracy. Tonight we just weren’t accurate enough and we didn’t test the goalkeeper enough but they got a really good team. All the points matter for the conference and we’ve got a really difficult schedule so we’ve got to just find points, that’s a big thing, but winning on the road at (George Washington) and UMass we were hoping to take that momentum into this game and we felt a little bit short.”
Next up the Flyers travel to Saint Louis to face the A-10 leading Billikens on Oct. 16 at 8 p.m.
Kouadio said the Flyers need to “keep the same energy” as they head into their next game, and the goalkeeper said the team will benefit from a full week off.
“This is a big game against Saint Louis,” Kouadio said. “So we all have time to rest our body, to prepare (for Saint Louis). So it’s really come at a good time, I can say, even though we didn’t get the result today, I feel like (if we) keep our minds concentrated and have the whole week to prepare for the big game.”