After a 3–1 loss over the weekend to Fairfield (4–3 overall, Metro Atlantic Athletic), the Princeton men’s soccer team (2–2–1, 0–0 Ivy) responded in a dominant fashion on Tuesday night with a 2–0 win over Loyola Maryland (2–3–2, 0–1–0 Patriot).
The Tigers were aggressive from the start. Senior midfielder Ryan Clare got the scoring started just five minutes into the game when he capitalized on a low cross from first-year midfielder Jack Jasinski. This was Clare’s second goal of the season.
“We felt like we had a lot of chances against Fairfield but lacked the final pass or touch to put that game away,” Clare wrote to The Daily Princetonian. “I think we responded really well in this game by setting the tone early and getting two goals in the first 10 minutes.”
The Tigers kept up the pressure over the next few minutes, maintaining ball possession and creating multiple shot attempts. The pressure proved successful when just five minutes later, first-year midfielder Gabriel Duchovny scored a curling, highlight-reel goal. After the ball bounced off a Loyola player, Duchovny deposited the ball just over the opposing keeper’s outstretched arms and into the top left corner, notching the first goal of his Princeton career.
The Tigers continued to have scoring chances throughout the rest of the game, with passing and aggression being the keys to exploiting mistakes by Loyola’s defense. Junior forward Walker Gillespie came close to making the score 3–0 late in the second half, but had a shot deflected off of the post. Princeton finished with double the amount of shots on goal than the Greyhounds.
Princeton’s defense and goalkeeping was also dominant throughout the game. Clare praised the team’s ability to defend set pieces.
“We have been giving up too many set piece goals this season, and so we made it a priority against Loyola to be more assertive [when] clearing balls out of our box,” he said.
Sophomore goalkeeper Khamari Hadaway recorded the first clean sheet of his Princeton career, registering three key saves in the first half to stop Loyola’s comeback chances.
“Khamari was a big part of this defensive effort … aggressively coming off his line the whole game,” Clare wrote.
“It all comes from communication, and just keeping each other — holding each other accountable for our marks and for the people we had to keep track of throughout the game,” Hadaway told the ‘Prince’ when asked about the key to the team’s defensive success against Loyola.
Hadaway also applauded the team’s organization on the pitch.
“I think that goes to show that if we’re organized, we maintain that level of organization and ruthlessness in front of [the] goal, and we can beat any team,” he said.
The Tigers look to win their second game in a row when they take on Mercer County rival Rider University (1–4–1, 0–0 MAAC) on Friday night at Sherrerd Field at 7 p.m. Ivy League play for the Tigers opens on Oct. 1, when they go on the road to play Dartmouth (1–2–2, 0–0 Ivy).
“Hopefully we can bubble up a little win streak before going into Ivy play against Dartmouth,” Hadaway said.
Kameron Wolters is a staff writer for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ He can be reached at email@example.com or on Instagram at @kam.wolters.