Men’s soccer loses big in season finale

Travis Gibson

Photo Credit: Travis Gibson
UNF forward Casey Caronis jostles with JU defender Scott Hill.
The UNF men’s soccer team was not able to send its senior’s out on a high note, as the team fell to local rival JU by a score of 5-1 on Sat. Nov. 3.

With UNF’s hopes of post season play over, the Ospreys still had a chance to play spoiler. A victory over JU would have eliminated the Dolphins from post season play, but UNF wasn’t able to defend in the last third of the field or convert goals when opportunities presented themselves.

Seniors Brad Sienkiewicz, Greg Crowell and Shane Donovan were all honored before the game and presented with framed jerseys for Senior Day.

After the pregame ceremony, the smiles stopped.

The Osprey defenders were a step slower to the ball than the Dolphins in the first half, and it cost the team two early goals.

The second JU goal was and pure class from the foot of Matheus Saroli. The goal came from 25 yards out and froze Sienkiewicz as it flew past him and nestled into the upper 90.

The 1,217 fans on hand were rowdy from the start. JU and UNF supporters exchanged school supporting chants throughout the duration of the game.

Head Coach Derek Marinatos said the team employed a new strategy for the game. He was not happy with the way the team was building an attack from the back by maintaining possession in the midfield during the season, so against JU he asked he midfielders to play more long balls over the top of the defense.

The strategy worked to an extent, resulting in 14 total shots, but similar to games all season, UNF was not able to convert chances into goals.

Max McDaniel (3) did score a goal early in the second half on a cross from Teddy Mulamba and the team looked to be gaining some momentum. The players became energized and began to attack JU’s defense after the goal. The crowd, who was ready to erupt, was disappointed when instead of an equalizer, a counter attack resulted in a penalty kick that Matheus Saroli converted to put the Fins up 3-1.

Photo Credit: Travis Gibson
Maur Valderruten takes a short shot against JU goalkeeper Gavin Carlin, who blocked the shot for one of his two saves on the night.

After the PK, the Ospreys looked deflated, and the game snowballed quickly.

“I’m disappointed with the overall result, but 5-1 isn’t really reflective of where the game could have gone if we had scored our second goal,” Marinoatos said.

The immaturity that coach Marinatos blames for much of the teams struggles this season, showed up at the end of the game.

With four minutes left in the match, and the outcome without doubt, sophomore midfielder Oscar Castillo threw a water bottle on to the field after being pulled from the game. He was sent to the locker room by an angry assistant coach before the game was over.

UNF finished in last place in the Atlantic Sun conference with a 1-7-0 record and a 4-13-0 overall record.

“We all knew this year was a rebuilding year, we only had three seniors this year and one junior..it’s still a rebuilding process,” Crowell said. “I was the only one who had been here for four years so I could give insight to the younger guys. I believe I did the best I could.”

“At times injuries hurt us [during the season]. There were games that we should have won during conference play,” Marinatos said.

Crowell, who was a two time member of the  Atlantic Sun Conference All-Academic Team, was dissapointed with the end of his carrer.

“It still hasn’t hit me yet, I know it probably will when I come in tomorrow. Its definitely sad,” Crowell said.

Despite another losing season, coach Marinatos says that he is confident he will be on the sideline for the start of the 2013 season.

“[Athletic Director Lee Moon] knows what I inherited and he knows that it’s going to take time. I think once we expand our roster and add some depth things are going to look great in the future,” Marinatos said.