Can Phantoms men’s soccer get back on track after losing back to back?

By Mike Hamill

The Delaware County Phantoms men’s soccer team poses for team pictures during pregame festivities against Montgomery County on Oct. 8. Photo by Mike Hamill

The DCCC men’s soccer team fell to a record of six wins, five losses, and one tie on the season, after falling short to Montgomery County Community College 1-0 at home on Oct. 8.

The DCCC Phantoms had their chances throughout the game but weren’t able to score a goal in the game.

Sophomore midfielder John-Preston Boyce led the team with five shots of the Phantoms’ 16, but the team never got the chance needed to score.

After possessing the ball for most of the first half, the MCCC Mustangs came alive in the second half despite facing overwhelming pressure, eventually scoring goal on a penalty kick that was never overcome.

Freshman midfielder Ebento Akoi, a key contributor to the offense, left the game early in the second half due to a calf injury, which may have contributed to the loss. Akoi was able to return shortly after, but wasn’t able to get going as MCCC controlled the ball more than in the first half.

After conceding the lone goal, Boyce urged his team to pick their heads up, put the ball back in the center, and kick it, adding, “Let’s just play soccer.”

“[Boyce] isn’t even one of the captains on this team, but I expect every individual to be a leader,” said head coach Ryan Griffith, who has been coaching the Phantoms for 16 years. “I hold every player to a high standard, I want to create leaders on and off the field by letting them create the standard and then I take it to another level because every individual still wants to learn.”

After the game, when asked about the team’s performance and frustrations after conceding the lone goal of the game, Griffith replied, “This [game] was going to be won or lost because that’s the sport, but both teams are so evenly matched.”

“It’s an international group of players that would love to have that support from the crowd.”

– Ryan Griffith

He explained that the result of the game was going to come down to one mental error and unfortunately the Phantoms committed that one error, that eventually handed Montgomery County the game winning goal on a penalty kick.

“It’s always about winning and winning with this team, not necessarily winning and losing, but when we lose, like today, we hold ourselves accountable,” Griffith said. “But there is no reason for anybody to have their heads down and they know that. It’s just the style we play.”

He added that his expectation for the team is to make the first round of the playoffs this year and go beyond. The team must take it one game at a time, but they are driven to get past the first round.

Griffith hopes students and faculty will come out and support the team. “It’s an international group of players that would love to have that support from the crowd,” Griffith said. “I know it has been years of trying to get that actual home crowd, but at some point we got to be able to have our players connect with the rest of the school.”

The Phantoms talk over game strategy in the pre-game huddle prior to the match against Bucks County on October 8. Photo by Mike Hamill

The Phantoms played their last home game of the season against Bucks County Community College on Oct. 10. The Phantoms scored the first goal of the game before conceding three unanswered goals and losing their second straight game.

In a physical match that saw over 20 fouls committed and six yellow cards recieved between both teams, the Phantoms had more shots but couldn’t score.

Freshman midfielder Gabriel Elbansani scored the Phantom’s lone goal on three shots, and freshman goalkeeper Phil Nmah added five saves.

In the seaon finale against Northampton Community College, the Phantoms were victorious, winning 4-2.

Contact Mike Hamill at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

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