Men's Soccer Falls One Goal Short In Wide Open Affair

Midfield action in men's soccer.
Kevin Valdivia had a pair of assists in a Sept. 12, 2018, home loss to Concordia. (Steven R. Smith)

LYNDHURST, N.J. – The Felician University men's soccer team was outlasted by visiting Concordia (N.Y.) College, 5-4, in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action during a light but steady rain on Wednesday night at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex.

Concordia junior forward John Reed (Longford, Ireland/Ballymahon) scored the eventual game-winning goal, putting a low shot across the goal mouth with 24 minutes, 27 seconds left in regulation time to snap a 4-4 tie. Freshman forward Marlon Buck (Vienna, Austria/Gymnasium Wenzgasse Vienna) led the Clippers (1-2-1, 1-1 CACC) with two goals and an assist.

Junior Chris McLaughlin (Hollis, N.Y./Preparatory Academy for Writers) notched a goal and an assist and classmate Kevin Valdivia (Hawthorne, N.J./PCTI) added two assists for Felician (0-5-1, 0-2).

The scoring in the game could have gone even higher. The Golden Falcons out-shot Concordia, 24-17. Felician put 16 of its shots on frame, and the visitors were on target with 13. Each team cleared a ball off its own goal line. Down the stretch, Clipper senior goalkeeper Jaime Gonzalez (Madrid, Spain/Cristo Rey) made a leaping, fingertip save, and Felician had a potential tying goal called back for offside.

The scoring pace was rapid in the opening period. The teams combined for six goals in a 30+ minute stretch, and entered halftime even, 3-3. An opportunistic McLaughlin stole an errant pass and broke free from the defense to tie the game with 3:39 remaining in the first half.

A deft interior pass by Buck freed teammate Dennis Limani (Norderdstedt, Germany/Harksheide) inside the 18-yard box for an open shot, which he converted in the 58th minute. Felician again equalized in the 65th, as Valdivia set up Kenny Monfort (Spring Valley, N.Y./St. Joseph Regional [N.J.]) for his first of the season. But only 71 seconds went by before Reed struck for the 5-4 Clipper edge.

Gonzalez made nine saves in 82 minutes before being sent off for receiving a second yellow caution card. Felician attempted to leverage the man advantage, but Concordia reserve keeper Mario Lamacchia (Baldwin, N.Y./Baldwin) stopped two difficult shots to preserve the victory.

Niko Iloski (Garfield, N.J./Garfield) and Carlo Gonzalez (Pompton Lakes, N.J./Pompton Lakes) also scored for Felician. Golden Falcon junior keeper Joe Sartori (Wood-Ridge, N.J./Wood-Ridge) was credited with seven saves. McLaughlin led all players on the night with nine shots, putting eight on goal.

Felician welcomes Wilmington (Del.) University to Lyndhurst on Saturday at 8 p.m., the fifth of six September home matches for the Golden Falcons.