Men’s Soccer losing their winning swagger

By Michael O’Donnell

After beginning the season on a hot streak by beating NCAA Div. I programs Stetson and Jacksonville University, the Flagler men’s soccer team has cooled off.

The Saints had lost three of their last four games coming into their match up against a very aggressive 6-5-1 Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) team.

Freshman forward Boris Kalff scored his third goal of the year and opened the game up in the 15th minute of the game by blasting a bending free kick into the back of the net. SCAD tied the match up in the 30th minute on a free kick off the foot of Dan Fadida.

As the second half lingered on tied 1-1, SCAD began to become more aggressive on both sides of the ball, and the momentum shift was apparent as the Saints became complacent with their play and frustrated with the calls of the referees.

The flood gates opened up on the Saints in the 80th minute when SCAD’s Jon Olafsson scored the go ahead goal off a corner kick as senior goalie Jordan Holtz lay helpless at the top of the goal box, after taking a kick to the back of the head. Less than three minutes later SCAD’s Zach Behrmann scored off a rebound, sealing the victory for SCAD and leaving the Saints with a 7-5 overall record.

Men’s Soccer coach John Lynch feels the losing skid is more of a mental hurdle, than it is a physical one.

“We have lost the winning mentality that we had in the beginning of the season, and we need to get it back if we want to start winning again,” Lynch said.

Lynch made a point in saying that the recent losing streak is mental, but statistics say it is a physical aspect as well. According to a team-by-team comparison of the Saints and their opponents leading up to the first game with Webber-International on Sept. 27, the Saints were beating their opponents by two percent in every major statistical category.

Before first Webber-International game Sept. 27
Average goals per game: 2.625/1.60
Average shots per game: 13.5/11.375
Average shots on goal: 7.5/5.375
Average fouls per game: 12.125/12.25

After first Webber-International game
Average goals per game: 1.25/2.80
Average shots per game: 9.2/12.4
Average shots on goal: 3.8/7.6
Average fouls per game: 12/11.4

The Saints will try to regain some momentum, as they set their sights on NAIA Div. II St. Xavier (5-6) led by leading scorer Almir Hot on Oct. 15 at Flagler Field.

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