By Cam Smith ’21
Sports Assistant Editor
The Providence College Men’s Soccer Team went on the road for the first time last Friday night, traveling to the State University of New York at Albany for a tilt against a gritty Great Danes squad. The result: a solid 1-0 road victory for the Friars.
PC dominated the first half, although the score remained tied when the halftime buzzer sounded. The Friars dominated possession, putting together some great link-up play that netted several good chances on goal. In total, PC outshot the Great Danes four to one in the half, never letting the opposing squad get a good look on net.
The Friars were quick out of the gate in the second half, putting pressure on the UAlbany defense almost immediately. That pressure resulted in the first and only goal of the night in the 49th minute when Trevor Davock ’20 RS slotted a shot past the UAlbany keeper from the top right-hand corner of the box. He was assisted by Esben Wolf ’23, who made a great pass up the right wing to find Davock in scoring position.
The next 25 minutes were more of the same for PC, as solid passing and a stout defense kept the ball in UAlbany’s half of the field. Momentum did pick-up at the 75-minute mark for the Great Danes when PC was assessed a yellow card right outside of the box. However, the Friars defense easily blocked and sent away the free kick that followed.
For the rest of the match UAlbany was on their front foot, having the edge in possession for the first time. However, the PC backline continued to turn them back as the Friars defense excelled at blocking any potential shots on net.
The Great Danes’ best scoring chance of the night came off of a corner kick in the 88th minute. The initial kick connected with the Great Dane’s Alex Bourgeois head, causing the ball to barely miss the net as it ricocheted off the crossbar. The rebound came right back out to Sam Philip, who scorched a shot on net, but was met with the save of the night by PC keeper Austin Aviza ’20 RS. Aviza dove to his right to make the tremendous save, successfully clinching the one goal victory.
Aviza ended the night with two saves and zero goals against, seeming to have found his groove with his new team. On the offensive side, Davock had three total shots to go along with his second goal of the season. Danny Griffin ’20, also had a great performance on the offensive end, racking up four shots while showing off his impressive footwork.
Defensively, the entire backline played a very solid game, but Malcolm Duncan ’21 particularly stood out. He continually turned away the Great Dane attack and prevented any sort of link-up play between the opposing squad’s forwards and midfield.
After a successful trip to New York, the Friars made it back to their home state to take on the University of Rhode Island in South Kingston on Sept. 9. The game flow went PC’s way, as they peppered the Rams keeper with 21 shots. Unfortunately, only one of those shots found the back of the net. Joao Serrano ’20 RS produced the lone Friar goal off a penalty kick in the 60th minute. The Rams on the other hand were able to work two goals on the night, giving them a 2-1 victory over their interstate rival.
Up next for PC is a Sept. 14 matchup against Sacred Heart University at Chapey Field. The game will be the first in an important four-game homestand for the Friars.