By Kyle Taylor, deputy sports editor
The Northeastern University (NU) men’s soccer team’s record fell to 1-4 after they lost their two most recent games against Boston University (BU) and Fairfield University, closing out a four-game road trip.
The Huskies head coach, Chris Gbandi, had just one word to describe the feeling of returning home from the road trip, but he believes that the key is to keep moving forward.
“Disappointed is the word that sums it up,” he said. “But the way we look at it is one game at a time. It’s a cliché, but anytime you focus on the three losses, or if you won three in a row and you focus on that, then you’re probably going to lose the next one.”
Sophomore striker Khori Bennett scored his first collegiate goal and Northeastern’s only goal in the 89th minute of a 2-1 loss to Fairfield last Saturday.
Fairfield’s first goal came in the 47th minute after capitalizing on a penalty kick before the team scored again less than 10 minutes later on a header.
Freshman midfielders Brendan Massie and Gerardo Milano and freshman defender Edward Okey all started their first game for Northeastern, while sophomore midfielder Tristan Tippeconnic and freshman midfielder Chris Scatterday both made their first appearances of the 2016 season against the Fairfield Stags.
The team then traveled to BU to play the Terriers on Tuesday, Sept. 13 where they lost 3-0. BU scored one goal in the first half before sophomore defender Moustapha Samb and senior forward Khesanio Hall were handed red cards in the 27th and 32nd minute, respectively.
With the Huskies playing down two men, they took five shots while the Terriers took 21, and BU scored twice more.
Freshmen midfielder Cillian Dunne, defender Stone Barcomb and midfielder Jeff Choonoo all made their NU debuts during the game.
Gbandi, however, was not entirely dissatisfied walking away from the 3-0 loss.
“I thought our team responded well to the red cards,” Gbandi said. “We’re playing at BU, a very good team, on a very big field to be two men down. We showed character and a willingness to work and to defend. I saw guys working, running for each other and doing the extra things that you, as a coach, love to see.”
He had encouraging words for his squad that was reeling after a three-game losing streak.
“As we were walking off the field I said, ‘I’m proud of you guys for not giving up in a situation that you could’ve easily given up on,’” Gbandi said. “It was a moment of learning for all of us, and I think the guys responded very well to the situation.”
Northeastern has won only seven out of their last 29 games against BU.
The Huskies are hoping to turn their luck around following this skid Saturday at 6 p.m., when they return home to play their first conference game against Drexel.
“Our focus now is on Drexel and trying to get a win there and trying to play the best that we can,” Gbandi said. “It’s a difficult game because Drexel’s a good team.”
The Huskies were just 2-6 in the Colonial Athletic Association last season, so they aim to improve on that record.
“Anytime you’re playing a conference game, the energy is ramped up a little, it feels like you’re playing for something more,” Gbandi said. “So anytime that you have a home game in the conference, you want to make sure that you go out there and put on a good performance for the fans and obviously for ourselves. We’re looking forward to it.”
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics.