Redshirt junior Ryan Peterson (r.) celebrates his heroic game-winning goal with sophomore Rafael Gamboa (l.) as the Flyers defeated Ohio State 1-0 at Baujan Field. Chris Santucci/Photo Editor
By: Edward Perez – Staff Writer
As Dayton’s men’s soccer approaches the Atlantic 10 portion of their schedule beginning Saturday at home against conference newcomers Davidson College, the Flyers have been preparing both physically and mentally for what head coach Dennis Currier expects to be one of the toughest conferences in the country.
With a 1-0 victory over the Ohio State University Sept. 27, the Flyers stand with a record of four wins, three losses and one tie with one nonconference game remaining against Valparaiso Monday.
In the last stretch of nonconference play, UD has outscored their opponents 12-1 over five games.
The Flyers traveled to Maryland Sept. 22 to face the University of Maryland where they lost 1-0.
Despite the loss, Coach Currier was satisfied with the way Dayton played.
“The best thing that’s going well is that we’ve found the right combinations on the field and we’ve grown in confidence,” said Coach Currier.
Currier said the most important thing going into A-10 is kicking things off with a good start. A tough conference like the A-10, according to Currier, necessitates a strong start.
“Even in games where we lost, like Maryland, we played well,” Currier said. “So, as long as we continue to play well, that’s the most important thing going into the Atlantic 10. We should get a good start.”
In the Ohio State University game, junior center midfielder Amass Amankona and sophomore midfielder Rafael Gamboa led the Flyers’ attack but couldn’t capitalize on any scoring chances during the first half.
It wasn’t until the closing moments of the game, when Amankona found junior forward Ryan Peterson near the Buckeye’s box and Peterson put the ball past the OSU goalkeeper.
Currier said he saw the need to improve the Flyers’ game in the second half after a first half in which the Flyers played a bit too quickly.
“We knew it was a going to a fast-paced game. We told the guys at half time was just to take a little bit more time and stabilize mentally,” Currier said.
According to Currier, because the team remained mentally strong in the second half, they were able to execute, break OSU’s defense and claim the win.
Gamboa said he was ecstatic about the win over OSU.
“We came here knowing [OSU] is coming back from a 3-1 last year, so they were coming for revenge,” said Gamboa. “We did a great job holding the shutout on the back and on a counter we just scored a nice goal.”
Going into A-10 play, Gamboa feels that the team simply needs to stay sharp. When the Flyers lose concentration, Gamboa said teams can “step on us and start playing better than us. In these games we know it’s going to be fifty-fifty so we have to control the whole game and be patient.”
Junior goalkeeper Chris Froschauer agreed.
As a goalkeeper, Froschauer sees everything from the back and can identify what is working and might not be on any given afternoon.
“The first half looked a little shaky. We didn’t really do what we wanted. We were just indirect,” Froschauer said.
Moving forward into conference play, Froschauer believes that the Flyers can improve in all facets of their game, both defensively and offensively.
“We need to link up our play when we get in the final third and finish our chances,” Froschauer said.