The Rams (0-8-1, 0-4-0 MEC) fell at home Wednesday afternoon in Shepherdstown to the Mountain Lions (1-7-1, 1-4-0 MEC) by a 4-1 score.
Early on, it became clear that the Mountain Lions’ attack was very potent and would be extremely difficult to contain for the Rams.
Senior midfielder Alex Rhodes found a hole through the Rams’ defense and launched a shot past freshman goalkeeper Jacob Dougal of the Rams at the 1:57 mark to give the Mountain Lions a very early 1-0 lead.
Just minutes later, Mountain Lions’ senior midfielder Yacouba Issa Traore sent a nice pass to sophomore midfielder Maxime Ramioulle, who converted the pass into another goal to increase the Mountain Lions’ lead to 2-0 at the 4:48 mark.
The Rams needed a quick answer to turn the game around, but that answer, unfortunately did not come.
Traore scored a goal of his own thanks to a beautiful feed from freshman midfielder Moulay Hassani, stretching the Mountain Lions’ lead to 3-0 at the 23:59 mark.
The Rams actually took more shots than the Moutain Lions did in the first half, winning this battle with a 7-5 edge. However, even though the Mountain Lions were only able to get five shots off in the first half, they were able to make them count, as three of them turned into goals.
At the start of the second half, senior goalkeeper Jacob Clements took over for Dougal, but the Mountain Lions’ attack was still able to function well.
Ramioulle and sophomore defender Pedro Bassin both assisted on the Mountain Lions’ fourth goal, which came off the foot of Mahamadou Coulibaly, a senior midfielder, which augmented the Mountain Lions’ lead to 4-0.
However, despite falling behind, the Rams showed resilience, not wanting to go down without a fight. Senior midfielder Luis Prado found junior forward Alejandro Oliart for a much-needed goal that trimmed the Mountain Lions’ lead to 4-1 at the 84:52 mark.
Even though the Rams would go on to lose by this score, there were some encouraging signs to take away from the game.
The Rams actually took more shots (19) than the Mountain Lions (15). Oliart had five shots in the game, with three of them being on goal.
Senior forward/midfielder Justin Marshall and Prado also helped balance the Rams’ offense, with each of them recording three shots. Senior forward Jeff Kammerer and junior midfielder Justin Daniels combined for four shots, with three of them being on goal.
The larger point here is that although the Rams struggled to defend the goal, they did a great job of generating shot opportunities, which is a good sign for what has been a struggling offense going forward.
Freshman goalkeeper Kyle Brown manned the goal in the first half for the Mountain Lions, recording two saves. In the second half, Brown was relieved by junior goalkeeper Michael Adedigba, who posted five saves of his own despite allowing one goal.
Dougal did not record a save for the Rams, but Clements recorded four saves in goal for the Rams.
The Rams did win the corner kick department as well with a 5-3 advantage, but could not capitalize on any of these attempts to get back into the game.
On Saturday, the Rams will be searching for their first win of the season when they host Notre Dame (Ohio) at 1 p.m.
Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at email@example.com