SCRANTON, Pa. -- The Lackawanna College men's soccer team fell in a non-region contest to the NJCAA Division III number 10 ranked Spartans of Cayuga Community College, 3-1, Wednesday evening at Loyola Field.
"We've definitely been tested this season," stated head coach Rudy Roediger. "Through the first half of the season we've played three teams who have been ranked this season, including two in the top-10 nationally."
Both teams began the match feeling one another out as the game was mostly a midfield stalemate. Cayuga (6-1-0) created several opening period chances but Vincent Whitmore came up with three first half saves to keep the match level.
Lackawanna (2-6-0) battled in the first half but were outshot 2-6 by the top-10 visitors. Cayuga also held a 3-1 edge in corner kicks through the opening 45 minutes.
The opening goal came from Montell James, who tucked away his team-leading fourth goal of the season when fellow Dominican Nick Anthony slipped the attacker through the Spartan defense. The second-year man did well to beat a defender before smashing it past Daniel Burdaspar for the 1-0 lead, six minutes into the second half.
Cayuga battled back and found its opening goal six minutes later when Kent Meier fired a shot past Whitmore to level things (1-1) in the 58th minute.
As the two teams traded opportunities, it was Cayuga who finished the match off with goals in the 73rd and 80th minutes by Dennis Bates and Aboubacar Darbo respectively.
Whitmore finished the match tying a career-high in saves (7).
"You never want to see your keeper facing 10 shots on target," stated Roediger. When the game got stretched late, things opened up and Cayuga found a way through our defense. Vince (Whitmore) did well and we learned more lessons tonight by playing a top-level opponent."
The Falcons return to the road on Saturday, Sept. 29 when the Falcons travel to Rochester, N.Y. to face the Tribunes of Monroe Community College at John L. DiMarco Field. Kickoff against the Tribunes, who received votes in the NJCAA Division I Coaches Preseason Poll, is set for 2 p.m.
Lackawanna then makes a quick turnaround and returns to the friendly confines of Loyola Field to face the NJCAA Division III Coaches Poll eighth ranked Jersey Blues of Brookdale Community College on Sunday at 2 p.m.