Mens soccer continues losing streak, drops two over the weekend


By Josh Brannock

The UNF men’s soccer team (1-10-0, 0-3 Atlantic Sun) couldn’t salvage a win this weekend as it fell to two conference teams. The team lost an overtime heart breaker Oct. 7 to East Tennessee State (7-4, 1-3 A-Sun) 3-2, and the team lost 2-0 to USC Upstate Oct. 9 (5-5-1, 2-1-1 A-Sun). Both games were decided with the help of questionable calls from the head referee.

“The referees decided the game on Friday, gave a penalty kick with a minute and a half left and you saw there the referee gave a straight red card on a tackle where we got the ball … it wasn’t malicious,” said head coach Derek Marinatos.

The team looked to come out Oct. 7 strong against one of the heavyweights in the Atlantic Sun Conference this year at ETSU. The game looked like it was going to be a typical one as ETSU scored a goal in the 19th minute to take a 1-0 lead.

The Ospreys weren’t rattled, though, as Midfielder Enrique Haeussler scored his first of two goals just six minutes later to tie the game 1-1. The game remained tied until Haeussler put in his second goal of the game in the 78th minute off of a free kick.

UNF looked like it was going to hold off the Bucaneers until a penalty call was made in the Ospreys’ penalty box in the 89th minute. The Buccaneers made the penalty kick and tied the game.

Neither team scored during the remaining minute and thirty seconds of regulation time. Both teams continued their scoring droughts in the first half of overtime. In the 101st minute, ETSU’s Theo Yang broke the tie and scored the eventual game-winning goal.

After the game, the referees were seen still discussing the game-deciding call. Two nights later, another questionable call determined another game for the Ospreys.

The team looked to build upon what Marinatos said was its “best game played all season.” After just barely losing to a seemingly better ETSU team, the Ospreys looked like they were in prime position to pick up their second win of the season against USC Upstate Oct. 9.

Most of the game was a back-and-forth between both teams. The Ospreys had multiple chances in the offensive zone, but couldn’t convert any of their 11 total shots.

The game was swayed toward the Spartans in the 72nd minute as Pedro D’Avila was given a straight red card for what seemed to be a typical tackle. Three minutes after the red card, USC Upstate was able to capatilize as it scored a goal that deflected off of freshmen goalkeeper Federico Bertele.

The Spartans would add to their lead as Dylan Hoop scored a goal in the 89th minute. Hoop was able to make his way past a defender and beat Bertele one-on-one.

Although the team has lost its last nine games, Marinatos said the Ospreys have improved.

“Obviously it’s been tough, but at the end of the day, we’re building a program,” he said. “Everyone that we’ve played against this season has said how much we’ve improved from the beginning of the season to now.”

Bertele felt a little bit of luck was involved in the loss Oct. 9.

“When you’re good you get lucky, when you’re bad you get unlucky,” he said. “The first goal was just unlucky, it hit off two people and went.”

Marinatos showed some disappointment in the way his team played over the weekend.

“We could have done a better job killing the clock [Oct. 7]…What’s disappointing today [Oct. 9] is that we had a chance to play against a team that we had a good chance of beating, and I felt like they outplayed us. We were lacking in energy or something.”

Although the team improved in the last few weeks from the beginning of the season, Bertele still sees some chemistry issues on the field.

The team looked good when it was in the neutral zone, but in the last third on both offense and defense, the team struggled. It still has a chance at making it to the A-Sun playoffs if it wins 4 out of its last five games — a task Bertele thinks the team is ready for.

“I definitely think we can get four wins in the conference,” he said. “We need to just put hard work into practice, that’s where it starts.”

Oct. 14 at Belmont at 7 p.m.
Oct. 16 at Lipscomb at 3 p.m.