NEWARK, N.J. -- Lackawanna College men's soccer dropped its Region XIX opener on Saturday at
Weequahic Park to reigning Region XIX champions Essex County College, 5-1.
Essex (2-0-0, 1-0-0 Region XIX) scored its first goal of the game in the 18th minute when the Wolverines took advantage of a defensive miscue by the young Falcons defense.
"It's the beautiful game," said head coach Rudy Roediger. "We really challenged a good team for the first 15 minutes, but they did what good teams do and punished us when we made mistakes."
Lackawanna (1-3-0, 0-1-0) would build several attacking opportunities and responded quickly to Essex netting its third goal in the 53rd minute. Montell James provided his team leading 4th assist of the year, finding Bruno Moreira at the near post for a powerful header to bring the Falcons within two (3-1).
The scoring came to a conclusion when Essex pounced on a last minute opportunity with just seconds remaining to secure a 5-1 win over the Falcons.
"It's a tough but important lesson for our young team," said Roediger who played 12 freshman on the night including career debuts for Whitmore and Nick Anthony. "Most of our team hasn't seen or been exposed to this level of college soccer till tonight. It's always tough to play such important and tough matches so early in the season, We are going to keep after it though, this was just the first of three straight tough opponents."
Lackawanna remains on the road closing out its five match season opening swing in Trnton, N.J. against the reigning Region XIX Tournament and Northeast District Tournament Champion, Mercer County Community College on Saturday, September 15th with a 12 p.m. kickoff.
NOTES FROM THE NEST
Head Coach Rudy Roediger has handed collegiate debuts to 14 players already in the early season.