The men’s soccer team began their 2021 season with a 3-4-1 record after being on hiatus due to Covid-19 protocols. They have been off to a good start after beating their latest opponent, DeSales University, in Ranger Stadium. For that win, Kevin Kiernan (‘25) scored two goals including a penalty kick game-winner in the 49th minute. The Rangers finished the game with a score of 3-2.
Ryan Lacrocca (G’24) and Vaughn Paga (‘22) are team captains for the 2021 season. Lacrocca is a defender from Marlboro, NJ and has been a dominant player for years at Drew. In 2019, he started 17 games as a defender, notably helping the Ranger’s post shootouts over Kean (1-0) and DeSales (0-0). He also allowed Drew to hold seven additional opponents to just one goal. Paga is a defender from Medford Lakes, NJ who has also enjoyed his career as a Ranger. In 2019, he appeared in 17 games and made 15 starts. In 2018, he played in 16 games. Paga started all four ECAC Championship matches, which helped him notch his first career point with an assist in a victory over New Rochelle in the first round of the championships.
After their win against DeSales, Lacrocca said, “I give a lot of experience to the team given that this is my fifth year at Drew. I have played on some of the best Drew soccer teams of all time and I can bring that success from previous years to this season.”
He believes his decorated past could be a great contribution to the present team’s performance and help with their chemistry.
Following the match against DeSales, Paga reflected on the team’s overall performance after playing a few games with each other.
“As a team, I believe that we need to put together solid offensive and defensive performances. We have had games this season where we have posted multiple goals, however, we give up goals as well. I believe that once we figure out how to put a solid offensive performance with a solid defensive performance, we will find success for this season,” Paga said.
According to midfielder Modesto Nogueira (’23), upcoming games, which include a crucial conference match-up, are something to look forward to. He said, “Susquehanna and Rutgers-Newark are two very strong teams. Susquehanna is a must win game as it is a conference game. I am confident that if we work together and play smart soccer we will win.”
Watch the Ranger’s men’s soccer team in its next game on Saturday, Oct. 2, away at Susquehanna University.