Men’s soccer playing tough, and pulling together wins
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By Madeline Scovotti
The cheering coming from the men’s locker room could be heard from the opposite end of the Dilboy Stadium Saturday night as Suffolk’s men’s soccer team celebrated an impressive victory over Johnson & Wales University with a final score of 2-0.
Both of the Ram’s goals were scored in the second half by Alberto Bittan, a junior who is a new addition to the team this year. Both goals were unassisted, the second being an impressive breakaway past both defenders and the goalie. It was the effortless shot that sealed the Rams’ victory with only a little more than six minutes left in the half.
The victory was a much-needed win for the Rams after a slow start to the season with a four game losing streak, but it is clear that the team is just starting to warm up and has since accumulated a record of 3-5. Last Wednesday, the Rams defeated Eastern Nazarene with a final score of 5-3, paving the way to their victory this Saturday against Johnson & Wales.
Djibril Niang, a last semester senior, believes his team is really starting to turn things around.
“We started off the season pretty slow, but since our second half against the Norwich game we started picking up things,” Niang said. The sports management major also attributes this turnaround to a closer team dynamic.
“The team environment is getting better,” he said. “The way we live as a team is getting better since that game. We’re starting to trust each other a lot more; people are starting to become a little more confident. We have four or five freshmen who start so it was a little rough at the beginning, but they’re starting to win a little more confidence which is helping the team a lot more.”
This newfound confidence certainly showed on Saturday night, especially as Niang made it clear that this was no easy victory for the Rams.
“We were playing the top team. They won the GNAC last year so this was definitely a big game. We were 0-2 in our conference games so this win was a big statement to the league,” he said.
This win for the team, combined with an overall growing team confidence, leads Niang to undoubtedly believe that there is no reason the Rams shouldn’t be back in the playoffs this year.
Whatever helped the Rams to kick it in gear, hopefully will allow the team to keep up this intensity to bring home a win from their next game on Saturday, Oct. 4 against St. Joseph’s (Me.).
This will be an important conference game for the Rams, and as the stadium lights dimmed and the victorious team finally poured out of the locker room to make their way home, Niang assured me that when it comes to their upcoming game against St. Joseph’s, “I’d be expecting nothing less than a win.”