EANECK, NJ – The Iona College men’s soccer team fell short of victory Saturday evening, falling to Fairleigh Dickinson in a tight contest, 2-1. The Gaels outshot the Knights 14-12, but a late rally wasn't enough as a final attempt to send the game into overtime went wide as time expired.
Fairleigh Dickinson scored in the 12th minute with a goal from senior forward Enver Caymaz. He was able to bank home a shot off the inside right post to give the Knights the early 1-0 lead. Sophomore David Bokumabi earned the assist, and his first point of the season, by sliding a thru ball from the left side that set up Caymaz.
Junior Marcos Nunez thought he had the equalizer in the 23rd minute, but his chip-in was nullified by an offside. Sophomore Daniel Ocana pushed Iona’s first official shot across at 23:29, but his long distance effort sailed over the cross bar.
The Knights responded right away after Ocana’s chance with a dangerous quick opportunity. Senior Jordan Scarlett bailed out the Gaels defense with a strong defense play, by kicking away a near-score right at the goal line.
Nunez got Maroon & Gold’s first shot on goal in the 38thminute, striking a low drive with his right foot that was saved by junior goalie Julian Murillo Toro. Ocana had chance to tie the game late in the first half with a left footed chance, but his effort went wide of the right post.
The Knights and Gaels each had five shots in the first half. FDU had two corner chances compared to the Gaels one. The Maroon & Gold were called offside on three occasions.
The Maroon & Gold were on their heels at the start of the second half when the Knights fired three shots in the first five minutes. The Iona defense was able to withstand that attack even when FDU followed it up with two consecutive corners in the 55th minute.
Fairleigh Dickinson finally broke through in the 61stminute with its second goal of the contest. Sophomore Javen Palmer took a pass from Caymaz and slipped one past sophomore Kellar Sirstins to give the home team a two goal lead.
Iona got themselves back into the contest with a score in the 77th minute. Nunez charged the net and buried a hard cross from Ocana for his second goal of the season.
The Gaels and Knights traded ball possession until the final moments. The Maroon & Gold drew a FDU foul in the 89th minute, setting up one last chance to tie the score. Senior defenseman Marley McLain attempted a shot but saw it go wide.
Sirstins made five saves in net for Iona. Ocana and Nunez each had a team high six shots.
Iona returns to action on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at Stony Brook. Game time set for 7:00 PM.