WASHINGTON DC, Sept. 14-- In its first home game of the season, the Howard University men’s soccer team fell to Stony Brook University, 2-0 on two goals from sophomore Michael Palacio. After four games, the Bison are still searching for their first goal of the season while the Seawolves (3-1-1) captured their third straight.
Howard (0-3-0) was able to create more chances on offense than in their previous games. The first one came in the 19th minute from junior Devrae Tankard whose sailing shot just narrowly missed the crossbar. Howard moved the ball with more efficiency as well, but poor passing in the offensive third killed most of their attacks.
The Bison failed to capitalize on a golden opportunity in the 33rd minute when senior Idris Ughiovhe pounced on a costly turnover in the center of the Stony Brook defense and passed to senior Jonathan Smith, but was denied after his spin move around a defender was intercepted by the Seawolves’ goalkeeper E.J. Xikis.
The score remained 0-0 at the half and was not broken open until the 63rd minute when Palacio scored the first of his two goals on the day.
Said Head Coach Keith Tucker, “That first goal knocked the wind out of us.” Howard was unable to regain any momentum after the goal and was finally put away nine minutes later when Palacio and senior Chris Megaloudis worked a clever give-and-go pass down the left wing, resulting in Palacio’s second goal.
Despite the loss, the Bison got another strong performance from senior goalkeeper Jason Williams, who made a phenomenal save on a one-on-one breakaway in the first half. According to Coach Tucker, the area the team needs to focus on the most is their passing.
“We’re still working on playing real soccer, and I think we accomplished that in the first half,” said Tucker. “We’re going to work on playing out of the back more, our play on the outside the (18-yard) box, and our passing in the top third.”
Howard will try to get its first win of the year on the road at St. Francis (PA) on Sep. 17.
A note: Howard’s Sept. 10 match at Florida International was called due to lightning midway through and was ruled a no contest. At halftime, Howard was trailing in that game 3-0.
Howard 0 0 0
SB: Palacio (2), 63rd & 72nd
SB: Narvaez, Megaloudis
Shots: SB, 10; HU, Saves
: SB: 1; HU: 3