The SF State men’s soccer team won their second consecutive game of the season, defeating the Concordia University Cavaliers of Portland, Oregon in a 1-0 contest that saw a combined 23 fouls, two yellow cards and one red card.
“It was a physical game,” said Gator defensive captain Max Talbert. “But that’s soccer— it gets physical and you get some good friendly nudging.”
The lone goal of the game was scored by forward Sam Merritt on a laser shot from 20 yards out on a free kick.
“Me and (midfielder Emmanuel Serrrano) discussed what we wanted to do with the kick,” Merritt said. “I saw the goalie take two steps to his right, so I shot it in the upper left corner.”
The free kick was a product of a red card issued to Concordia goalie Arne Niermann. In the 43rd minute, the Gators had a scoring opportunity. Niermann slid and punched the ball outside of the box, resulting in an automatic red card.
Mitch McCaw came into the game to replace Niermann and almost immediately gave up the goal to Merritt.
The Caveliers played the entire second half a man down due to the red card on Niermann. Despite playing 11 men against 10, Gators head coach Matt Barnes said the game was still a challenge.
“When a team goes down a man it usually means they play harder,” Barnes said. “It was a tough game.”
The Gators offense out-shot the Cavaliers 19-9, with seven shots on goal for the Gators and four on goal for the Cavaliers.
“After 10 minutes into the game we started to settle in,” Barnes said. “We looked good offensively, but still missed some opportunities to score.”
Barnes said his team needs to focus on finishing off opponents. “We had a few opportunities to go up 2-0 or 3-0, so we need to work on finishing games.”
The Gators will look to build on their 2-0 season record against Dominican University Thursday, Sept. 10.