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FTC Men’s Soccer Team Wins Seventh Game in a Row

The Sound outlasted Bryant & Stratton College, 5-2, in a very aggressive and physical game.

By Sydney Mountain

On Monday, October 11th, the men’s soccer team took a trip to Bryant & Stratton College in Albany, NY, to face off against the Bobcats. Having been one of the hardest games all season, the Sound came out on top, scoring five goals against the Bobcats' two goals.

Steven Paguaga, starting goalkeeper for the Sound, was not even phased by the physicality or the aggression of the opposition or their fans. "The atmosphere was amazing. We had the girl's soccer team cheering us on, which motivated us to score, and there were also fans rooting for the other team on my half of the field. But all their yelling never got to my head."

Paguada stayed cool and collected, which paid off for the team. He faced 11 shots on net and saved nine of them. Paguada had many incredible saves from shots very close to the net, which kept his team in arms reach of victory.

At halftime, the score was still 0-0, but it's not a soccer game without a few goals. The first goal of the game came from defender Sebastian Gomez off a free-kick just outside of the 18-yard box. Gomez buried it in the top left corner, kicked it just over the goalkeeper's gloves, hitting the bottom of the crossbar, and in it went. Gomez now has four goals on the season.

Being awarded foul calls in the box has been a frequent in-game situation this season for the Sound. And once again, the team had a penalty kick opportunity. Having so many skilled team members makes it hard for head coach, Jason Fiscina, to choose who takes the penalty kicks, but Monday was Andrew Hickling's turn. Hickling, center midfielder, lined up to take the shot for the Sound. As expected, Hickling shot a rocket of a shot in the lower-left corner of the goal and extended the lead to 2-0.

After the Sound’s 2-0 start, the Bobcats had a counterattack; they scored two goals after the Sound and tied the game up again to 2-2. The tie wasn’t broken until another goal by the Sound. Forward Angel Chavez scored the third goal off a blocked shot by left midfielder Juan Lopez. That goal marks Angel’s tenth goal of the season, which includes a hat trick in October 9th’s afternoon game against Vaughn College.

Three goals weren’t enough for the Sound. With each minute getting more physical, they knew they needed to dig deeper. After several unsuccessful attacks, a chip pass over the defenders' heads from Anthony Campos sent forward William Rivera crashing toward the net. Rivera got just enough of his head onto the ball to send it into the net, making the score 4-2.

To top it off, another goal by Andre Hickling was put into the net off of another free-kick, just outside of the 18-yard box. "This game was one of the hardest games we played all season, so this win meant a lot to us. I’m happy that I was able to help my teammates and coaches get this victory. The job isn’t done just yet. We face the number one team in the country on Saturday. Therefore, we need all the support we can get in what is a very important game for us ranking-wise and for making it to Nationals, which is our main goal for this season."

The next game is a competition between Berkeley College-NJ on Saturday, October 16th, on the Five Towns College soccer field. The two teams are currently sitting at the number 1 and number 2 spots in the national rankings, so it should be an exciting game. Hickling and Paguada made it clear; they need all the help they can get from their FTC fans.

Come out and support their journey to the Conference Championship game and the Nationals tournament.


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