Men’s soccer: VMI outshoots Niagara, but falls 3-1

vmiThe VMI men’s soccer team outshot visiting Niagara University Sunday, but dropped a 3-1 decision in a non-conference game on Patchin Field.

Niagara got on the scoreboard 27 minutes into the contest on a Mbongeni Tshuma goal from Matt Krucko-Moeller. Tshuma found Borna Juracic five minutes after halftime to push the lead to 2-0.

VMI senior midfielder Jonathan Martinez cut the lead to one, with a perfectly delivered ball from 35 yards out, just over the goalkeeper’s reach and into the top left hand corner of the net.

The Purple Eagles gave themselves a cushion at 68:10, when Bautista Pedezert scored from Krucko-Moeller. The Keydets had a good chance to cut into the lead again in the 78th minute with an offensive flurry. Shots from Benjamin Skibicki and Cooper Duplantis were blocked by the defense, and TJ Hurd’s attempt was stopped by the keeper.

“We played really well at times today and created a number of scoring chances in the attacking third,” said VMI head coach Michael Bonelli. “The difference today was we were not locked in for 90 minutes, and Niagara capitalized on a few of our mistakes.”

VMI outshot Niagara 16-14, while each team had five corner kicks. Freshman goalie Broden Schull made five stops for the Keydets (0-5); Steve Casey also made five stops for the Blue Eagles (2-4).

VMI travels to Campbell University Wednesday for another non-conference contest at 7 p.m. in Buies Creek, N.C.

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