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The Greyhounds Soccer Team’s Season Successes and Future Improvements

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Members of the men's soccer team celebrate after a win.

Members of the men's soccer team celebrate after a win.

Members of the men's soccer team celebrate after a win.

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Moravian College’s men’s soccer team entered the season with a loss of four key players who  graduated and new head coach Bob Wilkinson.

Due to these changes, the early parts of a season served as a learning period.  

The Greyhounds were forced to learn how to play in the backline without All Conference defender Akinori Mollenthiel ‘20, lost for the year because of an injury early in the season. Even though this was a huge setback, the Greyhounds did have Brandon Percey ‘19, who returned from an injury that shortened his season playing time in 2017.

Moravian opened up their season in Salisbury, Maryland, with  the Elmer Lord Soccer Classic, but it was not the start the team wanted. They played two games, with one being a 1-1 draw and the other being 3-0 loss.

The rest of September went well for the team, however. The only loss the Hounds had in the 5-1-1 run was to the Montclair State Red Hawks, who won their conference championship with a 5-0 defeat of the Ramapo College Roadrunners to close out their season.

Moravian  filled the holes that the graduating seniors left with Anthony Nagy ‘22 and David Durski ‘18, both of whom covered the midfield.  In the right back and goalkeeper position, Moravian found success with Jared Stafford ‘22 and Michael Bone ‘21.

With all the holes filled, the Greyhounds played their first conference game on Sept. 22 against the Juniata College Eagles, where they would start the conference season off with a win. The 2-1 victory the Hounds got came from two second half goals from Nagy and Safa Turkdonmez ‘22.  

A week later the team went against their rival, the Susquehanna River Hawks. Over the years, Susquehanna has caused the Greyhounds a multitude of problems. The most recent time, Susquehanna beat the Hounds in the 2017 season, jeopardizing the team’s chance to make into postseason games.  This year, the Hounds were victorious against their rivals.

October for Moravian cannot be spoken about with the same happiness, however, considering how they  put up a 2-7 record. Still, in the beginning of the month, the Hounds got another big conference win against Scranton to push them to 3-0 and to the top of the conference table.  

The rest of the month saw the Hounds really struggle as they lost to Drew, Elizabethtown, and Catholic. It set up a very important game against Goucher where they had to win to make the Landmark Conference playoffs. The Hounds played scoreless until the 96th minute, when Alec Aloia ‘21 scored the goal to send Moravian to the Landmark Conference playoffs for the first time.  

The Hounds then traveled to compete against the number one overall seed, the Elizabethtown Blue Jays. Earlier in the year, the Hounds lost 2-1 to the Blue Jays at John Makuvek Field.

In this playoff game, Moravian  got things started early with a goal from David Durski ‘19 in the first 38 seconds. But through all the fight and push the Hounds lost the game 2-1, with a second goal coming in minute 68 for Elizabethtown. It was a game the Greyhounds just couldn’t defend long enough. Trying to hold a  one-goal lead for a whole 89 minutes was not easy against the strong attacking Elizabethtown.

The loss  had the Greyhounds finishing with an overall record of 7-9-2 and a 4-3 conference record.

The players who excelled under Wilkinson’s coaching were Aloia, Stafford, Blakely and Nagy.  

This season Aloia led the team with six goals and four assists. Stafford, who played  right back, was second in goals as a defenseman. Blakely was the attacking partner up top with Aloia and had three goals and two assists in his sophomore campaign. Nagy from the midfield position was able to contribute three goals and two assists as well.

The Greyhounds will look to build on the early success in Wilkinson’s tenure next season, with   the Landmark Conference in their sights.

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