Suffolk men’s soccer shuts out Lasell

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

On Oct. 1, fans got out of their cars and were greeted with the misty air at the East Boston Memorial Park in Boston. They trudged up into the bleachers to watch the men’s soccer teams of Suffolk University and Lasell College compete.

Forward Christian Restrepo kicked off the scoring for Suffolk, giving the Rams a 1-0 lead going into halftime. While Lasell was able to create space, costly mistakes allowed Suffolk to beat the Lazers 3-0, carried by midfielder Aaron Haggas’ two goals in the second half.

After the game, Suffolk’s Soccer Captain Ben Daniels commented on the Ram’s performance.

“Our main focus was keeping the shutout, keep real solid back, and stay disciplined. We did that, got a little sloppy at times, but overall we took our chances and got the ‘W’ so that’s all we wanted,” Daniels said, adding, “It’s one step forward that we needed.”

The weather permitted rain coats and umbrellas as roughly 50 fans found their seats (or places to stand) just minutes before the opening kickoff. While the forecast was dull and drab, the in-game action started rapidly. Forward Christian Restrepo managed to find himself with the ball in front of the Lasell goal, netting the game’s first score, and his first of the season, 3:28. Restrepo’s shot was formed by a Lasell turnover near the 15-yard line, and went past Lasell’s keeper Jackson Burhans’ left side, barely coming off the ground as it rolled in.

This one-on-one score would be the only for either team for the first 45 minute half.

The misty rain persisted, and pants were dampened with water stains. Players did not seem to be phased as they played in their normal uniforms of tee-shirt jerseys and shorts. Only a couple players wore longsleeve t-shirts underneath, and a few sported gloves. But unlike the rain, the shots would not come to fruition for Lasell in the latter half, as the Lazers managed only seven for the entire game. Suffolk had eighteen, nine on goal alone.

About 15 minutes into the second half of the 90 minute game, Lasell’s midfielder Jacob Miller,and one of Suffolk’s midfielders Jarrett Davis entangled off to the side of the Lazer’s goal, leaving Davis on the ground, which resulted in a foul. He had stayed down for some time after being shaken up, but walked off of the field under his own power to be replaced by midfielder Joel Shulman.

Suffolk’s midfielder Aaron Haggas sent the ensuing penalty kick into the back of the net past the diving goalie, giving the Rams a 2-0 lead. Haggas touched cleats with a few teammates near the edge of the field in celebration before jogging down the sideline high-fiving the rest.

At 71 minutes into the game, Haggas would score again, grazing Burhans outstretched hands before hitting the netting. However, this final score of the day would not be the end of competition.

Evident in the second half was controversy surrounding the officiating. Fans cheering for both teams were visibly and verbally upset by how the calls were handled, yelling loudly at the referees a number of times. Matt Hull, 25, from East Hampton, Conn., who is a family member of Suffolk’s midfielder Jordan Casey, was able to comment in an interview with The Suffolk Journal near the end of the game. He was displeased with the positioning of the center referee, stating that he was making bad calls and allowing athletes to influence the decision making.

“Athletes on the field, in my opinion, have no right to talk to a ref. Play your game, play the sport, that’s what you do. He’s the officiator for a reason, that’s what he does,” Hull said.

Hull also talked more about the center referee and said, “When it comes down to it, he just doesn’t move. I’ve played soccer for years, I’ve reffed for years. He’s out of play right now, over 50 yards from the ball. It’s just silly.”

Also in a post-game interview with The Journal, Haggas was able to comment on his two goals, attributing them to the team, sighting that lucky ball placement helped him net his second score. While acknowledging that Lasell was still in a position to win the game after the first half, Haggas was satisfied with the way his team performed as well as the end result.

“Team win, 2-1 in the GNAC (conference), I’ll take it,” Haggas said.
The Rams are now 4-5 overall, and will face Mount Ida College in Newton Mass. on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.