Lions men’s soccer drops 1-0 match to Sabres, lose Sunday

Finlandia’s Brendan Christian battles Marian’s Eric Tschumperlin for a header on Saturday in Hancock. (Eddie O’Neill/The Daily Mining Gazette)

HANCOCK — The Finlandia University men’s soccer team suffered a tough 1-0 loss on Saturday afternoon to the Marian University Sabres at McAfee Field. It was the Lions first home game of the season.

All of the scoring Saturday occurred within the first two minutes of the game. At the 2:04 mark, the Sabres’ Max Kauffman found himself with the ball in the right corner. He put a well-placed cross pass to the middle to teammate Emanuel Acosta who fired it into the Lion’s net.

Sunday showed no more mercy for the Lions in a 3-0 loss to Concordia Wisconsin.

Sophomore goaltender Noah Raisanen was tested early by Concordia (4-0) and its offense. Raisanen finished with 15 saves.

“We basically gave the game away in those first two minutes,” said Finlandia’s head coach Scott Chrysafidis. “We came out soft and had no energy, and they took advantage of that.”

The first half he added was characterized by sloppy passing and a lack of an offensive attack with the ball.

“At half time, I told the guys they needed to pick up the pace and talk,” Chrysafidis said. “We are a young team, and we need to learn to talk to one another. Communication is so key to the game of soccer at this level.”

In the second 45 minutes, the Lions (0-2-1) did indeed pick the pace up a bit. They won an number of more balls than they did in the first half and were able to keep it in the Sabres’ half of the field.

“We need to continue to work on keeping the ball on the ground and not play rushed or panic soccer,” said Chrysafidis.

The Sabres posted 20 shots with nine of them on goal while the Lions had six shots with only two on goal.

“We had opportunities throughout the game with plenty of free kicks,” Chrysafidis said. “On the other hand, we committed too many dumb fouls.”

The Lions had 15 fouls on the afternoon. The Sabres had 22. Ten yellow cards were issued in the game. The Lions received seven and the Sabres had three.

Four of the yellow cards where issued in the last eight minutes of the game as tensions ran high. In the last minute of the contest, several players on both benches had to be held back by coaches as players started to shove each other and punches were about to be thrown.

The Lions host Northland at 7 p.m. Thursday.

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