Men’s Soccer team loses opening spring game under new coach

Spinnaker

New head coach Derek Marinatos took charge of his first UNF soccer game Sunday, but his team lost 4-0 to local rivals Flager at Patton Park.After a close first half on a hot day, the Ospreys lost concentration in the second period and conceded 3 goals. Despite this, Marinatos wanted to take the positives out of the experience.

“Obviously we are changing the style of play, in terms of trying to possess the ball,” he said. “I thought we did a pretty good job in the first half, and we went down a goal from a goalkeeping error. Until then it was an even game.”

The opening goal came from a mix-up at the back, which allowed the Flagler forward to steal in. Goalkeeper Andrew Calise reached for the ball, but ended up taking the man, which the resulted in a penalty. The spot kick was calmly slotted home to give The Saints a lead. Sophomore Greg Crowell had a chance to instantly reply, but waited too long to shoot and the Ospreys went into the break with a 1-0 deficit.

After half time, UNF enjoyed some good spells of possession but were let down by poor shape and defensive lapses. Ten minutes into the second half, Flagler capitalized on this and a deflected cross was sent towards the far post, where the Flagler striker was gratefully waiting to tap the ball in. Two more goals were added as Flagler comfortably ran home 4-0 victors.

Marinatos praised his team for the way they broke Flagler down in the first half by getting the ball out wide, but said during the second half they just abandoned their game plan. Marinatos refused to blame the conditions of the pitch for the loss and said his team would go back to practice and work on the things that he saw from the game.

Junior Theo Fulger, who was solid at the back despite the score line, echoed his coach’s sentiments and said the team will stay positive.

“We have a new coach, a new style, and everyone is working hard,” said Fulger. “We are still getting used to everything.”

The focus will be on speed of play and movement off the ball, he said.

The program recently announced that 10 recruits are confirmed for the fall, so many of the current players are playing for spots on the squad next year.

“Results are not important at this point,” Marinatos said. “I just need to know who wants to be here next fall.”

The next UNF soccer match will be held at Hodges Stadium at 3 p.m March 6.