The Daily Northwestern

Men’s Soccer: Wildcats drop 2 on New York road trip, look ahead to Big Ten play

Elo Ozumba fights for the ball. The senior forward and the Wildcats lost twice over the weekend.

Elo Ozumba fights for the ball. The senior forward and the Wildcats lost twice over the weekend.

Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Elo Ozumba fights for the ball. The senior forward and the Wildcats lost twice over the weekend.

Hugh Mallen, Reporter

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Men’s Soccer

Northwestern dropped contests to both Colgate and No. 8 Syracuse this weekend at the Central New York Classic, concluding its three-game road trip on a disappointing note.

The Wildcats (1-3) surrendered two second-half goals in a 2-0 loss on Friday night to the Raiders (2-2), who went on to win the tournament. NU managed only one goal compared to its opponents’ five this weekend, continuing its poor offensive start to the season.

“We can definitely learn from our mistakes, get back together and push forward into our Big Ten schedule,” junior defender Jake Roberge said.

Against Colgate, the Cats had few scoring chances in the first half, mustering only two shots, and failed to capitalize on four second-half shots. Senior forward Elo Ozumba’s penalty kick was saved in the 88th minute when the Cats were down 1-0.

The golden opportunity to tie the game failed, and NU quickly conceded a second goal to the Raiders to put the game out of reach.

Bad turned to worse for NU on Sunday as the Cats gave up multiple goals again, this time falling to Syracuse (3-0-1), 3-1. The Orange overpowered the Cats early, scoring just 54 seconds into the game and three times in the first 20 minutes.

Ozumba said playing quality non-conference opponents will help the young squad develop and improve before the Cats begin conference play. The team continues to have a positive attitude toward the rest of the season, he added.

“We have a lot of talent on this team,” Ozumba said. “It will be a matter of time until we do (click). We are very close to getting those wins and those results.”

The Cats’ only goal of the trip was the first this season for Roberge, and the second of his career. Roberge headed junior midfielder Camden Buescher’s corner kick into the back of the net in the 64th minute against Syracuse.

Roberge’s goal put the exclamation mark on a well-played second half against Syracuse, which saw the Cats record the only goal.

“We’ve played good teams at their place,” coach Tim Lenahan said. “It gives us an indication of some of the adjustments we have to make when we play those top-tier teams (in conference).”

NU has conceded multiple goals in its first three road games, losing all of them. Logistically, the Cats have had a tough road schedule, traveling over 1,000 miles in less than a week.

NU will look to end its three-game losing streak on Friday when it begins Big Ten play at Martin Stadium against Ohio State.

“Hopefully after three long road trips we will be excited to be at home again,” Lenahan said. “Once Big Ten play starts there is a different intensity to the games. It’s not easy.”

Twitter: @_hughmallen