Men’s soccer plays season opener against Saint Mike’s, loses 16-14

Devin Bergeron, Sports Editor

Saint A’s opened up their season on the wrong foot Wednesday, falling to Saint Michael’s 3-1. The two teams met at Duffy Field in Colchester, Vermont for their second annual Community Cup match, with funds being raised by both teams for the Winooski School District. The $500 from both programs will be used to support students from Pre-k to high school with day-to-day needs, seasonal items, and athletic equipment.

A few days before the contest, Hawks’ coach Bruno Vital spoke to the value of the charity cup saying, “We are extremely happy to help organizations like the Winooski School District that provide opportunities for growth and development for local youth…It is amazing to see both programs working together again to help those in need.”

The game itself however was not as successful for the Hawks. A year after the team was only able to garner three wins all season, they hoped to come out strong in their 2018 campaign.

Any hopes of immediate improvement were dashed right out of the gate though, as Saint Mike’s forward Jacob von Giebel floated one over senior goalie Jacob Rostkowski at the 59 second mark, and less than a minute into the new season, the Hawks were already trailing. Saint A’s was able to rebound quickly, getting seven shots off for the rest of the half. Unfortunately for them though, none of them were able to find the net, and the Hawks entered the half still trailing 1-0.

Coming out in the second half, the Hawks put up five shots in the first 20 minutes, including two on goal, but still to no avail. Midway through the half, the Purple Knights connected on a shot off a rebound to go up 2-0. Saint Mike’s was able to control much of the game from there on out, and started to pull away with a shot that was able to find the bottom right corner of the net with less than ten minutes on the clock.

The Hawks were able to break up the shutout with exactly seven minutes left in the game off of a give and go to get on the board 3-1. Freshmen midfielder Michael Budrewicz picked up his first career goal with sophomore forward Zach Elliot and junior forward Nick Heckt dishing out the assists. Rostkowski grabbed a save 87 minutes in to keep the damage where it was, and Saint Mike’s held on for the 3-1 home victory.

Freshmen midfielder Patrick Sorenson, freshmen forward Taylor Silverstein, senior forward Felipe Biso (2), and Budrewicz (3) were responsible for the Hawks’ seven shots on goal. Rostkowski nabbed five saves, his most ever in a single game as a Hawk, albeit in a losing effort. Saint Mike’s outshot Saint A’s in the contest 16-14.

This was a disappointing loss for a team with high aspirations heading into their season. Their deep roster features 23 players with seven freshmen. Overall the team brought in ten new players from last year, including eight recruits and two transfers. “The guys are really impressing me,” Coach Vital remarked when voicing his enthusiasm on the fresh blood. “They are actually pushing my current players pretty hard and I would say they want their playing time.” The team hopes all the friendly competition will light a fire under themselves heading forward. Only time will tell if this comes to fruition on the playing field.

Now 0-1, the team heads home for a match with Queens on Sunday, September 9. As a team that had difficulty bouncing back from losses last year, the Hawks look to prove they are a new team in their first home game.