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Men’s soccer held off scoresheet

Dal's Julian Perrotta will be looked upon to score goals (Photo by Martina Marien)

If opening weekend is any indication, the goal-scoring woes that left the men’s soccer team with only 15 goals in 13 games last season is far from over.

The Tigers failed to hit the back of the net in their two-game homestand despite numerous chances, falling 1-0 to St. Francis Xavier on Sept. 7 and then dropping a 2-0 decision opposite Saint Mary’s University (SMU) on Sept. 9.

Although the year is young, Dalhousie head coach Pat Nearing said his team’s lack of scoring must be addressed. After all, this year’s recruiting crop is supposed to make a difference on the score sheet.

“It’s extremely concerning because the people we brought in, we were hoping, would score goals for us,” says Nearing, “and obviously that hasn’t happened yet.”

The Tigers nearly evened the match in the dying minutes of their 1-0 defeat last Friday. Defender Nathan Rogers rifled a goal off a corner kick, but the linesman called off the tally, and the subsequent celebrations, because the opposing goalkeeper’s path was impeded.

“With 20 guys in the box, I thought it’d be pretty tough [for the linesman] to see, but he called that,” says Rogers.

Not only was a crucial goal denied, but Dal also faced a setback when two key defensive cogs were sidelined. Jordan Mannix aggravated a previous knee injury that may end his season, while Kerry Weymann sat out Sunday’s game for the concussion-like symptoms he experienced after a collision. Weymann should return this weekend but the status of Mannix’s injury isn’t known.

The two absences hurt the Tigers in their succeeding match against the Saint Mary’s Huskies, the No. 2 ranked squad in the country.

While the sudden inexperience in Dal’s back line showed, the team was more hurt by their inability to turn possessions into scoring opportunities.

“Defensively, we’re not good enough but it’s not overly concerning,” says Nearing. “The lack of goals is.”

SMU’s Shane Rajaraman scored in the 47th minute and Sidney Doucette notched the insurance marker in the 77th minute to win the 2-0 match for the defending champions.

The Tigers are on the road this weekend. They battle St. FX again on Friday, Sept. 14 and Cape Breton the next afternoon.

Ian Froese
Ian Froese
Ian was the Gazette's Editor-in-chief for Volume 146. He was the Sports Editor for Volumes 145 and 144.

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