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No Happy Ending: Men’s Soccer Falls in Final

Cecile Nag

Freshman forward Eivind Austboe was extremely frustrated after losing the East Coast Conference final on Friday, November 4th, saying the team played awfully. The Pioneers ended their ECC season with a 1-0 loss to N.Y.I.T., in what might have been their last game in 2011.

After an overall outstanding season, with a 16-1-1 record prior to the final, the C.W. Post men’s soccer team has changed historical records this year. When the All-Conference Awards were announced early on November 4th, the Pioneers took home four out of five of the top awards, which were decided by the votes of the league’s coaches.

Head Coach Andreas Lindberg was announced Coach of the Year; sophomore Cemil Turan was named the Offensive Player of the Year; freshman Eivind Austboe received the Rookie of the Year, and sophomore Marco Jorgensen was honored as Goalkeeper of the Year. Both Turan and Jorgensen were named to the All-Conference First Team along with C.W. Post junior midfielder Andreas Olson, sophomore back Leron Haywood, and sophomore captain Eirik Bjoernoe.

After a 1-0 win against Queen College in the semifinal on November 2nd, C.W. Post advanced to the final. When sophomore forward Cemil Turan picked up a pass from junior midfielder Andreas Olson and scored from a short distance in the first half, the game was settled. Queens fought back and raced to score with several double and triple chances that were avoided after a good performance by sophomore goalkeeper Marco Jorgensen. In a game that could have easily ended with the opposite result, the Pioneers managed to keep the goal clean.

“Clean sheet and one goal – that’s all we need. Hopefully, we’re going to improve our level in the next game though,” said Jorgensen. His wish was not granted in the following match.

Ready to secure their second trophy this season, the Pioneers entered their home field Friday in front of a mixed crowd of spectators coming to support C.W. Post and neighbor school N.Y.I.T. After a draw (2-2) in the regular season, it was time to settle the score in the East Coast Conference Championship Final.

With the wind as a third opponent knocking down most of the high air balls, it became a battle on the midfield. In a non-productive game, neither of the teams succeeded in producing chances or effective attacks, and it was a lot of back-and-forth play.

N.Y.I.T. got an early goal and took a 1-0 lead in the beginning of the first half. Being down by one has been a habit of the Pioneers during the season but has usually been an awakener leading to pressure, goals and wins. Not this time. The Bears wiped off all the Pioneers attempts to score with smothering defensive play.

Neither team plays nor individual performances succeeded for the Pioneers, and the 90 minutes went by without any major chances. Freshman forward, and highest-scoring Pioneer this season, Eivind Austboe was almost invisible on the field along with Olson, who did not serve the benefit of his speedy runs. Without successful attacks from Turan, Austboe nor Olson, nor from the rest of the squad, no goals were scored, and the N.Y.I.T. supporters could applaud their team with a final victory.

“One of our worst games this season,” said Austboe. “I can’t really say what went wrong; I am still trying to understand what actually happened.” The Pioneers suffered their second loss this year, leaving them with a 16-2-1 record. Monday night, the NCAA regional selection will decide if the Pioneers get to continue their season with NCAA East Regional action.

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