Shepherd men’s soccer comes out flat against Daemen College

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Alejandro Oliart (9), pictured here earlier this season, and the Rams could not execute offensively to counter their defensive lapses against the Wildcats. (Photo courtesy of Shepherd University Athletics Department).

The Rams (0-7-1) got off to a rough start in their home game Monday afternoon against the Wildcats (3-6-0) of Daemen College, giving up four goals in the first half in route to a 4-0 loss. 

During a run that lasted just a grand total of just under 13 minutes of game time, the Rams’ defense fell completely apart, as they allowed four goals to the Wildcats. 

Freshman midfielder Anthony Cupello received a nice feed from freshman forward Kristian Aadnoy, sending the ball to the back of the net at the 21:17 mark in the game to give the Wildcats an early 1-0 lead.  

Aadnoy would record a goal of his own at the 26:33 mark in the game, as teammate Noah Keem, a freshman forward, delivered a nice pass to Aadnoy, who finished off the play with an excellent shot that extended the Wildcats’ lead to 2-0.  

The Wildcats discovered holes to get through the Rams’ defense, and would continue to find holes in this nightmare that would not seem to end for the Rams. 

Moments later, the Wildcats were a given a great gift with a penalty kick opportunity. Freshman Niklas Ringdahl Bohlin blasted a shot past the Rams’ freshman goalkeeper Jacob Dougal to increase the Wildcats’ lead to 3-0 at the 28:12 mark. 

Keem would erase any doubt about the game’s outcome with his goal at the 34:04 mark that came off of a beautiful feed from teammate Craig Buchanan, a freshman forward.  

The young stars of the Wildcats gave the Rams trouble early and often, as the defense was simply not up to the task of defending the Wildcats’ diversified attack.  

Dougal had a tough day in goal for the Rams, as his teammates exposed him to great amounts of pressure from the Wildcats’ attack. In the contest, Dougal managed to record just one save. 

In the game, the Wildcats had 14 total shots, while the Rams were not far behind with 11 shots of their own. The real difference in the game was that the Rams were just not able to get many of their shots on target, as just four of their shots on goal. On the opposite side, the Wildcats were able to get six of their shots to be on goal, putting pressure on Dougal. 

Freshman goalkeeper Mike D’Amato saw some action, but largely was able to relax and play his game, as the Wildcats built an early lead. D’Amato did perform well when called upon, however, as he posted four impressive saves for the Wildcats.  

On the offensive side for the Rams, junior midfielder Justin Daniels, junior forward Alejandro Oliart, and freshman midfielder Adam Rice were the main sources of shots that the Rams’ offense was able to generate. 

Daniels had three shots in the game, but could not place any of them on target. Oliart and Rice both had two shots a piece, but both could only get one of them on goal. 

Once the Rams fell behind, they were not able to muster many significant attacks on the offensive side to get back into the game. The Wildcats’ defense came to play, as the Rams were not able to get into the rhythm they needed to complete the comeback attempt. 

The Wildcats held a 6-1 edge in corner kicks, as they were able to put continuous pressure on the Rams’ defense. 

At this point in the season, the Rams sit in fifth place out of seven teams in the Mountain East Conference standings. West Virginia Wesleyan (6-1-1, 5-0-0 MEC) and Charleston (8-0-0, 4-0-0 MEC) are first and second, respectively, in the conference standings, with both teams being unbeaten in conference play. 

Still winless on the season, the Rams will look to earn their first victory on Wednesday afternoon when they host Concord at 2:30 p.m. 

Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at abrack02@rams.shepherd.edu