SMCM Men’s Soccer Makes Final Push Towards Playoffs

The St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) men’s soccer team now has just three regular season games remaining in the 2019 season. These matches will be against York College of Pennsylvania, the University of Mary Washington, and Southern Virginia University (SVU). The team currently sits at 3-4 in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC), so these final three matches have a very big implication on the final standings for the Seahawks. 

Despite starting the 2019 campaign 6-0-1, SMCM has struggled as of late, winning just three of their past eight matches. However these three victories were all very key for the CAC standings. The Seahawks knocked off both York and Salisbury at home during the first week of October. Each of these games had a final score of 2-1. They also defeated SVU on Oct. 11 by another score of 2-1. In this match, senior forward Josh McRobie scored the first goal off an assist from senior forward Khalid Balogun. Just under ten minutes later, the Seahawks scored again to increase their lead to two. This goal came off of the foot of junior forward Roshawn Panton, with an assist from first year forward Thomas Williamson. In the second half the Seahawks outshot SVU 9-2, but failed to score on any of these chances. They did concede a goal in the forty-eighth minute, however this was the only real scoring chance SVU had as they only had a total of three shots on goal. The Seahawks finished the day with twenty-three shots and eleven shots on goal. Panton led the team with a total of five shots, according to smcmathletics.com. 

Amidst this stretch of CAC games, SMCM has taken on nationally ranked Christopher Newport University (CNU) twice. The first time, on Oct. 9, CNU was ranked twenty-first in the nation and they set forth on an offensive surge. While they only put up three goals, they tallied eighteen total shots and six corner kicks. In the fifty-eighth minute, with CNU up 1-0, Balogun was able to beat the keeper to tie the game at one. However the Seahawks then conceded two late goals in the game to finish with a 3-1 defeat, according to smcmathletics.com. 

The second match against CNU, now ranked seventeenth in the nation, took place just a few days later on Oct. 16. In this affair, CNU jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first half. However the Seahawks began to build a lot of momentum in the second half, as Balogun connected on a corner kick from senior defender Zack Yuich to lower the CNU lead to just two points. However Balogun was given his second yellow card of the game just five minutes later and SMCM was quickly down to ten players for the remainder of the game. They were able to rattle off five more shots, but ultimately lost the game 4-1, according to smcmathletics.com.

So far on the year, Balogun is leading the way for the Seahawks on offense. He has collected 14 goals and four assists for a total of thirty-two points. He will be looking to solidify his fourth all-CAC selection in four years at SMCM. McRobie has also collected nine goals for the Seahawks, while additionally leading the team with five assists and four game-winning goals. In goal for the Seahawks, senior Patrick Paolini has gone 8-2-1, amassed fifty-six saves, and allowed just 1.30 goals per game, according to smcmathletics.com.

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