posted on: Thursday October 4, 2018
By Sullivan Burgess ’20
This weekend at Providence College, the students and athletes had more to celebrate besides the opening of the new Ruane Friar Development Center. The College, along with many alumni and students were able to cheer on the PC Men’s Soccer Team as they secured a back to back victory against Xavier University, during the school’s 50th anniversary of the men’s soccer program.
At the match, players from the last 50 years of the program came to Providence, during St. Dominic’s weekend, to reunite and watch the match unfold. They were able to celebrate all the success the team has endured in the past, as well as look forward to the bright future that is in store for the program and athletes.
During halftime, a video was played on the scoreboard that commemorated the history of the team. Some of the biggest moments were displayed on the screen such as making the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament in 2016 and the trip to the Final Four in 2014.
Former head coach Bill Doyle who was the first coach in the program’s history, sat down with current coach Craig Stewart to talk about building up the program and bringing the Friars into a perennial Big East contender.
A clip of former head coach Chaka Daley was played at the end. Daley talked about his time at PC. Daley considered the 2005 season to be one of the best seasons he was a part of. After going winless in 2004, the Friars turned things around in 2005, going 7-4-9.
The Friars shutout Xavier 2-0, making their record 5-4-1 (2-1 in the Big East). This win put the Friars in 3rd place in the Big East Conference. The two goals came from Joao Serrano ’20 from a free kick, and Danny Griffin ’20, with a counterattack goal in transition. Both occurred in the second half of the game. On the defensive side, goalie Colin Miller ’19 made two saves in the game and recorded his 3rd shutout of the season as well as the 16th shutout of his career. PC was able to defeat its second top-25 opponent this season.
The Friars were then ready to take on their next opponent, the University of Connecticut Huskies, on Tuesday night. Tiago Mendonca ’20 is currently leading the Friars with 4 goals and has started all 10 games this season. He is also tied for 8th most goals in the Big East. Miller is also leading the goalies of the Friars with 30 saves and 14 goals allowed, putting him 8th on the list for most saves in the Big East.
Sadly, the world is not all sunshine and rainbows; Mother Nature herself decided to make a visit to the Soccer New England night in Providence. While the Friars led the rainy match against UConn 1-0 by forward Andualem Chisolm ’22, lightning struck around the 60th minute of the second half, causing both the delay and the eventual call of the game with 30 minutes and 6 seconds remaining.
Per NCAA rules in soccer, since it did not reach the 70th minute, the game could not count. The match was ultimately put on record as a canceled. Word will come soon from the team on whether there will be a re-match. The Friars managed to play through a tough match, and can hopefully keep the momentum going in the coming days.
The road ahead after Uconn looks tough. This Saturday, Oct. 6, the Friars will take on Marquette University for the Friar Cup, and will continue the rest of their Big East play throughout the season.