Bobcat goalies keep games close

Doug Manners

Men’s soccer goaltenders Conor Shilcock-Elliott and Kenneth Lewis have not had much time to catch their breath on the field this season. Both players have been bombarded with shots throughout the first seven games of the season, but have played exceptionally well to keep the Bobcats in every game they have competed in.

The Bobcats, whose record stands at 2-5 overall and 0-1 in Northeast Conference play, have been out-shot by a margin of 143-55 this season. Shilcock-Elliott and Lewis have teamed up to stop 44 of 60 shots-on-goal for the Bobcats. In contrast, the Bobcats’ opposing netminders have only faced 22 shots-on-goal. Quinnipiac has scored just six goals and has been blanked three times.

In a 3-0 loss at Northeastern two weeks ago, the Huskies out-shot the Bobcats, 17-1, in the first half of action. For the entire game, Northeastern dominated the Bobcats in shots, 28-5, putting 23 on goal. Shilcock-Elliot turned in a stellar performance in net for the Bobcats, setting both a career-high and NCAA Division 1 season-high in saves with 20. Still, it was not enough to prevent the Bobcats from dropping their third consecutive game.

On Friday, the Bobcats opened the Northeast Conference portion of their schedule at Mount Saint Mary’s. Once again, Quinnipiac was heavily out-shot in the opening half of the game, 12-4. Despite the lopsided shots, the game remained scoreless until senior Fred Serra headed a feed from freshman Francis Mavula into the upper right-hand corner of the net at 61:44 of the second half to put the Bobcats in front 1-0. Mavula leads the team in points with five, two goals and one assist, and has both game-winning tallies.

However, the Mountaineers responded when Justin Decker headed a corner kick past Shilcock-Elliot at 72:01. Then, with only 1:35 remaining in regulation, Phillip Rub converted on a thrown-in from Steve Dellamore to register the game-winning goal for Mount St. Mary’s. Shilcock-Elliot, a sophomore, made three saves for the Bobcats in the game, which was played on a rain-slicked field.

The Bobcats finished a three-game road swing on Saturday evening with a non-conference game at George Mason. Once more, the Bobcats were shelled in the shots department, 21-2. After a scoreless first half, the Patriots came out and fired five shots in the opening five minutes of the second half.

George Mason finally put the ball in the net at 58:05. The initial shot caromed off the right post to Karim Manneh, who tapped the ball into the Bobcats’ net to record the game’s only goal. Shilcock-Elliot made four saves in 66:35 for the Bobcats. Lewis, a junior, played the remainder of the game and stopped one shot. Patriots’ goalie John O’Hara only needed to make one save in the entire game.

The men’s soccer team will look to right the ship and snap its five-game losing streak as they play seven of their next eight games at home, including two this weekend. The Bobcats play host to St. Francis (N.Y.) on Friday at 4:00 PM and Long Island University on Sunday at 1:00 PM in a pair of Northeast Conference battles. In their only previous home game this season, the Bobcats dropped a 2-1 decision to the University of Hartford.