Minutemen Fall In Final Exhibition Match
Aug. 23, 2003
CHICOPEE, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts' men's soccer team ended its exhibition season on a sour note with a 4-1 loss to third-ranked St. John's before 525 fans at Szot Park. UMass ended its exhibition season with a 1-1-0 record, heading into next weekend's season opener.
St. John's took a 1-0 lead just over five minutes in when Sebastian Ralph banged home a goal from in close after a UMass defensive miscue. Sophomore Craig Canavan (Chicopee, Mass.) stopped the initial shot, but Ralph beat Canavan to the ball the second time and popped the ball into the top left corner at the 5:09 mark for a 1-0 Red Storm lead.
UMass' first chance to tie the game came just six minutes later when Oral Bullen (Brooklyn, N.Y) streaked down the left side and fired an initial shot that a St. John's defenseman blocked. Bullen regrouped and his second attempt sailed wide. Both teams then settled into to a defensive standstill. UMass nearly tied tied it up again off a Dan Colwell (Norwell, Mass.) to Ptah Myers (Columbus, Ohio), but Myers' shot was into the SJU goalie to keep the score at 1-0. St. John's then added to the lead with just under 11 minutes to play in the first half, when Matia Damiani knocked home a loose ball in a scrambler for a 2-0 advantage,
After the UMass defense tightened up and Dave Doucette (Middleton, Mass.) made two great saves in succession to keep the Minutemen in the game, Bullen cut the lead to 2-1 with over 26 minutes left. Bullen received a pass from Myers, who in turn streaked down the right side past the Red Storm defense and rolled a shot to the left post to beat the SJU goalie to get the Minutemen on the board.
However, St. John's got the clincher when Jean Camere headed home a goal from in front with 11:47 left in the game for a 3-1 lead and Angel Rodriguez tallied a netter just four minutes later for a 4-1 victory. The Red Storm outshot the Minutemen, 26-10, but three UMass goalies kept the Minutemen in the game, combining for 10 saves.
UMass opens the regular season next Saturday, Aug. 30, with a 7 p.m. game at Hartford.