By Liam Tormey ’22
The Providence College Men’s Soccer Team lost in a heartbreaking fashion this past Sunday against Clemson University, losing 1-2 in double-overtime to end their season.
The Friars went down to South Carolina last week to face off against the No. 2 team in the country. Head coach Craig Stewart’s team was not one of the 16 teams ranked heading into the tournament, but they still found themselves in the third round of the 2019 Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament, and for good reason.
After defeating New Jersey Institute of Technology at home on Nov. 21 in the first round of the tournament, the Friars traveled to PA to take on the No. 15 ranked Pennsylvania State University three days after their opening round game. Providence found themselves in a two goal deficit early in the second half, but climbed back into the game, scoring the equalizing goal from Tiago Mendonca ‘20RS with less than four minutes to play in regulation. Esben Wolf ‘23 got the Friars on the board first to start the comeback.
The game headed into overtime, and just four and a half minutes into some free soccer, Trevor Davock ‘20RS found the back of the net to complete the upset and send the Friars into the third round of tournament play. Davock also had assists on both goals in regulation. Paulo Lima ‘22 picked up an assist on the game winner.
The Friars then spent Thanksgiving break in preparation for the number two team in the country. On Sunday, the team came out and fought to the very end.
Unfortunately, after giving the Clemson University Tigers all they could handle, the team fell in overtime in the 105th minute to a 1-2 score.
The Tigers opened up the scoring in the first half with a goal in the ninth minute by their leading goal scorer of the season, Robbie Robinson. The Friars would not give up, though, and found their way into the game throughout the first half. After a Clemson corner kick right before halftime, Danny Griffin ‘20 and Mendonca found themselves on the counter attack. Mendonca tucked it into the far corner with just seven seconds left on the clock in the first half to make it 1-1.
Both sides had their chances in the second half, but 90 minutes of play would not be the way this game was going to end. Extra time would end up being the deciding factor.
After the first 10 minutes of golden goal overtime, neither team would score. In the second half of overtime, five minutes into play, the Tigers would draw a penalty inside the box. The Tigers leading goalscorer and the man who put them in the lead earlier in the game, Robinson, stepped up to send the Friars home.
The Friars gave the Tigers all they could handle with 13 shots and five on target with plenty of opportunities to score. Although this team finished before they would have liked, they have a lot of reasons to hold their heads high.
This was a team for head coach Craig Stewart that had a combination of both young and experienced players. Each side of the age group held their own for this team.
Davock, a forward, led the team in points this season with six goals and eight assists. Lima led the team in scoring and played exceptionally well in the center of the field, tallying eight goals this the year.
Austin Aviza ‘20RS was exceptional all year for the Friars. Aviza won numerous games for the Friars this season and recorded a total of 58 saves.
The Friars will not be playing soccer anymore this season, but they finish the year 16-7, third in the Big East Conference. Their season also included a trip to the Conference Finals and a third round appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Although the squad might look back and think they could have done more, the Friars had a lot of success this season.