In their fifth game of the season, the Princeton men’s soccer team lost to Saint Joseph’s 3–2 Tuesday night on Sherrerd Field. The game featured an action-packed first half and saw the two teams battling it out for the win in the second.
Junior defender Ben Bograd reminisced on the last time the two teams faced each other before COVID-19.
“We beat them 6–3, which is really insane for soccer,” Bograd said.
However, he knew Saint Joseph’s had some impressive techniques to look out for.
“We couldn’t really tell. They were a really physical and tall team, and that doesn’t play to our strengths,” Bograd admitted. Nevertheless, the Tigers were energized from their last two wins and hoped to pull away with another victory.
The Hawks secured the first goal in the 7th minute of the game. Play remained concentrated in the middle for the next few minutes until the Tigers scored two goals in a row to take the lead.
James Wangsness, a first-year midfielder, scored the first goal for the Tigers and his first career goal to tie the game at 1–1. Wangsness was assisted by Kevin O’Toole. At 34:42, Kazu Shigenobu scored his first career goal as well, with the assist coming from Daniel Diaz Bonilla.
Bograd is proud of what the Tigers showed with these goals.
“We did a good job of bringing the ball up the field and getting a goal quickly,” he said. “We pressed them high, won the ball, and after a couple of quick passes, got the goal.”
The Tigers lead was short-lived, however. In the next minute, the Hawks brought the ball all the way down the field to score their second goal. Princeton goalie Sam Morton missed the block, while another player failed to save the ball before it rolled through the goalposts.
Both teams put up a fierce fight in the remaining minutes of the first half, and the Princeton student section got rowdy. Players fell and got back up, while sweat visibly sprayed off their head when they headbutted. Morton made a save. Before the end of the half, Saint Joseph’s took a penalty kick, which was blocked by junior midfielder and defender Ryan Clare.
Bograd commented that the Tiger’s defense of set pieces showed big improvement.
“To not give up the goal on a set piece is a big win for us,” he said.
The close fight continued into the second half. In the 70th minute of the game, Saint Joseph’s took the ball down the field to score the winning goal.
“We got really disconnected. There was too much space in between our lines, so they had an easy job,” Bograd said.
As the Tigers fought for a goal to tie the game before the buzzer, Saint Joseph’s goalie Luis Luciano made several saves. The Tigers were unable to secure another goal, ending the game with a score of 3–2.
Reflecting on the game, Bograd hopes to work on slowing down the opponent’s counter-attacks.
“They were able to get through us and get dangerous,” he said. “This has happened in past games, but we’ve usually prevented it from materializing into goals.”
The Tigers are set to play Penn State this Saturday at 4 p.m. on Sherrerd Field.
“We’re really excited, this is one of the biggest games on our schedule,” Bograd said. “It’s a good opportunity to try to prove ourselves, especially with Ivy League games coming up.”