Not Yet Cursed

Shun Hasegawa

UMB men’s soccer team’s scoreless, therefore winless, jinx at home, combined with Rhode Island College (RIC) forward Kyle Teixeira’s hat-trick disappointed the 55 loyal Beacons who’ve been hungry for a first victory at the Clark Athletic Center for the 2004 season. After the 0-3 loss on Saturday, October 2, UMB is now 4-2-1 overall, 1-1-0 against their Little East Conference rivals. While having 100 percent winning record in four away games, the Beacons are 0-2-1 on the home-pitch they love, without a goal for 311 minutes. The RIC Anchormen controlled the match from the onset. Their midfielders often threatened our home team with their crafty passing and dribbling skills, on both right and left wings, to feed quality crosses to junior Kyle Teixeira, a perennial No.1 scorer in LEC since his collegiate debut in 2002. As RIC outshot the Beacons by 9-2, UMB defenders and freshman goalkeeper Rich DaSilva barely escaped from the flood to shut the first half out. UMB kept silent except, at the 22nd minute, when junior midfielder James Ocampo crossed from the left side at sophomore midfielder Mynor Sanchez, who was wide-open in the penalty area. Despite the promising situation, Sanchez’s header hit the cross-bar to miss UMB’s biggest scoring chance before halftime. RIC broke the deadlock at the 55th minute. Two seconds after, they were granted a free kick at midfield, and an Anchorman swiftly kicked it off before the Beacons’ defenders could ready themselves for an attack. Teixeira received the cross on the left side. He dribbled into the center and scored with a right-footer that soared beyond the leaping goalie’s hands. Second year head coach Myles Berry recalled the goal. “That [goal] was disgraceful. Our defenders stopped moving after the referee’s call and didn’t pay much attention to [the Anchormen’s quick start],” he said. UMB picked up the rhythm and played evenly for about 20 minutes. After missing a decisive chance at the 66th minute, the Beacons seized another game-tying opportunity at the 74th minute. Ocampo’s speedy counterattack, nearly into the penalty area, left him facing only two unprepared RIC defenders and a goalie. That was the moment when freshman forward Guilherme Goncalves received, what American football fans would call, “unnecessary roughness” from an Anchorman almost 20 yards behind the ball. To prevent a potential quarrel between the two, a referee whistled to give UMB an unwanted free kick and to force them back to near the center circle, though an advantage for the Beacons should have been called to allow Ocampo to finish his goal attempt. The questionable call did more than squash a Beacons opportunity. One minute after the threat, Teixeira aired the same sequence as 20 minutes earlier, receiving a pass on the left wing, dodging three UMB defenders, and scoring with a right-footer. Teixeira’s superb performance culminated when he delivered another sharp shot into the net at the 85th minute, giving RIC a fatal 3-0 lead. With one minute to go, the Beacons tried to return with a right-side corner kick. However, their 10-man charge was blocked by the 11-man RIC defense, followed by a game-ending horn. Another scoreless home game could be attributed to the disappearance of a speedy offense on the right wing, UMB’s trademark, and, as Berry observed, the fact that senior captain Alejandro Lopez was still in recovery from a leg injury. Ocampo raised another point. “We need a better defense to have more scoring chances and to win. Today, we just made too many errors,” he said. A little relief comes from the fact that the game was not as one-sided as the final score indicated. UMB out-shot the Anchormen by 7-6 in the second half. “They made chances. And we made chances. I think it was a close game,” Berry commented.

The Beacons will play two away games before they host UMass Dartmouth on Saturday, October 16.