Junior forward Alejandro Oliart, pictured here in the Rams' home match against the Golden Eagles earlier this season, and the Rams managed to get just one shot off against the tough and feisty Golden Eagles' defense. (Photo Courtesy of Shepherd University's Athletics Department).

Shepherd men’s soccer gets pounded by Charleston

The Rams (0-17-1, 0-12-0 MEC) fell by a lopsided 7-0 score Saturday afternoon on the road in Charleston, W.Va., against the Golden Eagles (16-0-1, 11-0-1 MEC) of the University of Charleston. 

From the start, the Golden Eagles set the tone with their ball movement and defensive efficiency. They showed the Rams why they only have one loss on the season. 

In the match, the Golden Eagles took 18 shots compared to just one for the Rams. 

This one shot came when the Rams were already down in the second half, as freshman midfielder Adam Rice’s shot went high over the goal at the 66:32 mark. Rice’s shot was really the Rams’ only chance at scoring the entire match, as the Rams were unable to generate any corner kick opportunities as well.  

In fact, the Golden Eagles had more corner kicks (8) than the Rams did shots (1) in the match, showcasing the Rams’ struggles on offense and just how well the Golden Eagles’ defense played. 

Golden Eagles junior midfielder Patrick Guier recorded the first of his four total points on the day when he crossed the ball to the far post, where the Rams’ defense was caught napping, as they allowed Golden Eagles junior forward David Achaerandio to tap one into the back of the goal at the 8:37 mark. This gave the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead that they would never relinquish for the rest of the game. 

Guier scored the next two goals for the Golden Eagles. The first one came at the 31:19 mark, when Achaerandio set up Guier nicely with an excellent pass. Guier sent it to the back of the net past senior goalkeeper Jacob Clements, who, like the rest of the Rams’ seniors, were playing their last game.  

Now with a 2-0 lead, the Golden Eagles were looking to put the Rams away as early as possible.  

Guier would help with that effort, as less than a minute after his first goal, he found an open avenue through the Rams’ defense to get a great shot off, launching a strike to the back of the net to give the Golden Eagles a 3-0 lead at the 31:57 mark. 

The Rams allowed Guier to score two goals before they could even blink.  

Guier found sophomore forward Freddie Tracey less than nine minutes later with a nicely-placed pass that allowed Tracey launched into the goal past Clements to stretch the Golden Eagles’ lead to 4-0. 

All four of Guier’s points were scored in the first half, as his continually efficient play proved to be far too much for the Rams to overcome.  

Clements was relieved of duty at halftime after allowing four goals by freshman goalkeeper Jacob Dougal. Despite allowing the four goals, Clements did post three saves for the Rams. Clements faced 11 shots in the first half alone. 

By the time the game concluded, the Rams realized that it was not entirely all of Clements’ fault, as the Rams’ defense and Dougal allowed three goals in less than a three-minute span in the second half. 

Cristhian Quintero, a junior forward, added to the Rams’ misery by converting on a penalty kick opportunity at the 86:07 mark after a Rams’ foul inside the eighteen-yard box.  

Even though they had a 5-0 lead in the later stages of the game, the Golden Eagles were not content with their lead. 

Golden Eagles sophomore midfielder Adrian Montalvo placed a nice lob pass in the air to Max Dandy, a senior defender, who headed the ball past Dougal into the goal, increasing the Golden Eagles’ lead to 6-0 at the 88:09 mark. 

Less than one minute later, Quintero assisted on a goal by sophomore forward Ettore Ballestracci, who found a crease through the Rams’ defense and sent a shot past the arms of Dougal to make the score 7-0 in favor of the Golden Eagles. 

No matter how hard the Rams’ defense tried, the Golden Eagles’ offense made a play anytime seemingly it wanted to.  

In the win, Golden Eagles’ goalkeeper Ewen Le Gallo, a freshman, did not post a save, as he was never really threatened by the Rams’ attack.  

This was the Rams’ second meeting with the Golden Eagles of the season. In the first game these two teams squared off, which was in Shepherdstown, W.Va., on Sept. 17, the Golden Eales won by a 2-0 score, with both of the goals coming in the second half.  

The Rams’ defense battled extremely hard in that game, but Saturday’s match turned out to be a very different deal, as the Golden Eagles came out ready to play and defend their home field. 

Ten Rams seniors were playing their final game for the Rams in this match, including Clements, defender Matt Lacy, forward/midfielder Justin Marshall, defender Noah Blacker, midfielder Ben Capriolo, forward Jeff Kammerer, midfielder Nathan Borowski, midfielder Kevin Bonanno, midfielder Luis Prado, and midfielder Casey Capizzi.  

Saturday’s loss concluded the season for the Rams. There are numerous areas that have to be improved going forward if the team wishes to have a better 2018 season. 

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

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