ALFRED, NY – The Alfred University men's soccer team lost their home opener by a score of 8-2 on Thursday night in a in a physical matchup with the College at Brockport Golden Eagles. The game was filled with fouls as the Saxons (0-3, 0-0 Empire 8) were stuck with six yellow cards while Brockport was on the receiving end of two Yellows.
Brockport took an early lead with a goal from Jeff Hibbard in the second minute and then built on that lead with a goal from Ayub Jeylani just nine minutes into the match. Just when it looked like the Saxons may be in trouble, Evan Merkey (Webster, NY/Webster Schroeder) had an opportunity to convert a penalty kick but the shot was stopped by the Brockport keeper. Merkey then quickly grabbed the deflection and put it into the net to cut the deficit to just one. Minutes later, Merkey made a spectacular pass to Raquan Hinds (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) cutting to the middle who scored to tie the game at two.
"I thought we got off to a slow start and it showed on the scoreboard as we went down 2-0 but after that we started playing and worked very hard to get back in the game and made it 2-2" Head Coach Tracy Blake said.
The Yellow cards did not stop though, and eventually came back to hurt AU in the long run when a player was sent off for receiving his second card of the game. The Saxons were forced to play with just 10 men after that and the speed of Brockport was tough to keep up with. The Golden Eagles scored in the 30th minute of the first half to regain the advantage then took over in the second, scoring five unanswered.
"A foolish action by one of our players got him sent off and we paid the price for that. We were down 3-2 coming into the second half and we tried to compete with them but the man-down took a toll on us and it showed on the scoreboard in the end. We're going to regroup and be ready for the Bryan Karl Alumni Tournament this weekend." Blake said.
In a game where Danny Zihal (Centerport, NY/Harborfields), usually a forward, was forced to start in goal due to an Injury to normal Goalkeeper Joe Gonzalez (Marion,NY/Marion), Zihal took a number of shots on goal that would have been difficult for a usual goalkeeper to stop and was able to come away with three saves.
AU will be back at home for the Bryan Karl 86'Alumni Tournament beginning this Saturday as they take on Kean University at 3:30PM following the tournament's other matchup between Keuka College and Mt. Saint Mary's University. The finals of the tournament will be played on Sunday afternoon at 3:30PM