Men’s soccer: Raiders drop home finale
Cleveland State staved of a flurry of Wright State chances late in the second half and added a breakaway goal in the 90th minute to defeat WSU 2-0 Wednesday evening at Alumni Field.
With the loss, the Raiders have failed to keep their hopes alive for home-field advantage in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament. Recent play has put the Raiders behind the eight ball losing five of their last six.
Following Wednesday’s loss, the Raiders go to Detroit Saturday and will possibly need a result in order to be eligible for the postseason.
The loss meant the Raiders’ six seniors have played their final game at home. Senior defender Derek Zuniga said he took a moment before the game to soak the atmosphere in.
“It is emotional, it is weird, the four years have really passed by,” Zuniga said. “I took a moment before the game to think about things and it was a really different situation. You never think about it being the end of your career of soccer, there is always a time and moment where it is going to happen.”
WSU head coach Bryan Davis talked personally with his seniors after Wednesday’s contest.
“They are amazing, I love our seniors,” Davis said. “They are great, great kids. They play their hearts out for us every night. It is disappointing because you want more for them right now. The biggest thing they need is to come and have a great game on Saturday.”
“You get new life with the conference tournament. We feel we’re good enough to beat anybody, we’re just losing games and finding ways to land on our sword.”
The Raiders got off to a slow start in Wednesday’s match. Miss-timed balls, errand passes, and botched marking marred the first minutes of the game.
The Vikings capitalized by the Raiders’ sloppy play in the 18th minute when Amari Williams led a 2-on-1 break and found Jordan Hart who scored his fourth of the season. The 1-0 advantage for CSU was all it needed.
“The first goal was really soft,” Davis said. “It was a mistake and it made us chase the game.”
Wright State had a few chances later in the first. The Raiders’ best opportunity came in the 33rd minute when Greg Marchand’s header off a set piece sailed just inches over the crossbar.
WSU had trouble generating numbers in the opening minutes of the second half. Midway through the second half, the Raiders pressed and finally had looks at the net.
Unfortunately for WSU, the pressure backfired as Admir Suljevic scored on a breakaway in the final minute as all of the Raiders’ defenders were pressing looking for the equalizer.
“The last 25 minutes of the second half, we turned it on but we have to start doing that from the get go,” Zuniga said. “We can’t take time to wake up.”