DELAND, Fla. (gohatters.com) – The Stetson Hatter men's soccer team notched its first win of the season, 2-0, over Queens University at the ATC on a picturesque Saturday night. The win marked the first of the 2022 season for home side and as an ASUN conference victory.
"Queens was really difficult to break down and were dangerous on set pieces," head coach Emmett Rutkowski said "They were organized and had a great game plan, and that frustrated us in the first half. I thought Luis really stepped up and had a great moment when he scored. It was a great team goal. We need to get sharper defensively and are giving up too many fouls, but we did not give away too many chances in the run of play and managed it really well, especially in the last 10 minutes."
The game was fast and physical from the opening whistle, as the teams shared roughly even possession with scoring chances restrained by both defenses. The sides combined for three shots on goal in the first 45 minutes of play, a pair by the Royals and the lone from Stetson being from midfielder Charles Ahl in the 31st minute of play.
Adjustments for the home team paid off immediately as Stetson made inroads for attacking, recording two shots on goal in the first 10 minutes of play in the second half. In the 67th minute, the home team broke through.
"I saw that Connor had the ball and was dribbling downfield," Luis Lara Delgado said "then he played me a ball into the box, I received with my right then finished with my left to the far post. It gave our team some confidence and the ability to manage the game better."
After Ahl worked to push the ball toward midfield, his pass set Connor Bates loose. Bates turned the ball up field and as the defense pinched to stop the advance, Bates sent a through-ball into the box that Delgado pounced on and gave Stetson a 1-nil advantage.
Pushing the advantage, Hatter midfielder Alessandro Gabbani pushed a shot wide of frame two minutes and 34 seconds after the goal.
The Hatter offense continued pushing and found its reward in the form of a penalty shot. A through-ball pass caught a Royal defender flat-footed and as Gabbani rushed pass him, the defender took the Italian down for a foul in the goal box. Senior Lewis Scattergood strode up to the spot and pounded the ball to left and it beat the keeper to increase the advantage to two, with five minutes 33 seconds left.
The Hatter defense closed the door, and goalkeeper Owen Jack picked up his second shutout for the season. Stetson did not allow a shot on goal in the second half with Queens recording three shots.
Stetson men's soccer returns to action Tuesday when Embry-Riddle comes to the ATC with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m.
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The ASUN, a Division I conference member of the NCAA, boasts a membership of institutions that share visionary leadership, bold ambition and creative innovation. As a nimble adaptive conference, unafraid to blaze a national pathway for better service to our student-athletes, teams, and institutions, the ASUN has a proud history of firsts, national academic and athletic achievements and a conference culture that walks the walk with its four ASUN Beams. Students First! Rise. Connect. Impact. #ASUNBuilt by Austin Peay (Clarksville, Tenn.), Bellarmine (Louisville, Ky.), Central Arkansas (Conway, Ark.), Eastern Kentucky (Richmond, Ky.), FGCU (Fort Myers, Fla.), Jacksonville (Fla.), Jacksonville State (Jacksonville, Ala.), Kennesaw State (Ga.), Liberty (Lynchburg, Va.), Lipscomb (Nashville, Tenn.), North Alabama (Florence, Ala.), North Florida (Jacksonville, Fla.), Queens (Charlotte, N.C.) and Stetson (DeLand, Fla.).