Defensive miscues continued to plague the Canisius College men’s soccer team on Sunday afternoon as UC Davis overcame an early deficit to earn a 2-1 victory against the Griffs. Canisius went 0-2-0 in the season-opening Bert and Iris Wolstein Classic in Columbus, Ohio, while the Aggies went 1-0-1.
“I thought we played very well for the majority of the game,” said Canisius head coach Dermot McGrane. “However, when we make mistakes, they tend to be huge ones that result in us allowing goals. We can’t think we can make massive errors and still be able to win games. We either need to improve our concentration or make changes to our lineup.”
The Griffs controlled the first 20 minutes of the contest and we’re rewarded for all of their early pressure when senior Asani Samuels netted the team’s first goal of the season in the 17th minute. The senior headed in a cross from classmate Jon Cary from eight yards out to give Canisius the early 1-0 advantage.
The lead, however, was short-lived as the Aggies answered back less than five minutes later with a goal from their first attack of the game. Two Griffs closed in on a UC Davis player, leaving the remaining defense exposed and the Aggies took advantage with a tally from Ian Palmer to draw even at one.
UC Davis then took the lead shortly after the halftime break with a goal in the 50th minute. Ryan Gross took advantage of a Canisius turnover and scored an unassisted goal from 20 yards out for the 2-1 lead.
In search of the equalizing goal, Canisius applied the pressure during the final 40 minutes but couldn’t find the back of the net. The Griffs had a number of near misses, including a pair of well-executed corner kicks, but the Aggies’ Kris Schultz came up big with two outstanding saves to preserve the 2-1 win.
UC Davis finished the contest with a slight edge in shots, 15-13, while the Griffs had seven corner kicks to five for the Aggies.
Junior Andrew Coughlin recorded five saves in net for Canisius, while Schultz finished with four stops for the Aggies.
The Griffs are back in action on Friday, beginning a three-game homestand with Bucknell. Canisius is set to host the Bison in its home opener at 7 p.m. at the Demske Sports Complex.
Game Notes: Samuels was joined on the All-Tournament Team by junior Nicoló Baudo … The start of the game was delayed 30 minutes and moved to Lincoln Tower Turf Field due to unplayable field conditions at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium … The schools were meeting for the first time … The Griffs have lost their last six games away from Buffalo.