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Sunday, December 21, 2014
Chemistry holds key for Molloy
Courtesy Molloy Athletics
Joey Pinto, left, is a key returnee to Molloy's midfield and dangerous off set plays.

After scoring nine goals in its final three games last season with just one senior on the field, Molloy College’s men’s soccer team is looking to carry some momentum and confidence into 2014.

The Lions, who finished 5-9-3 overall a year ago including a 3-4-3 mark against East Coast Conference rivals, will be counting on chemistry to make a difference in close games according to coach Danny Longo.

“The guys have been working hard all summer,” Longo said. “We’ve been competitive every year, but we need to find a way to get it done in close games. We have quite a few seniors and they want to go out winners.”

Molloy went 4-6 in one-goal games in 2013 and will need a bunch of offensive contributors, Longo said, after graduating its leading scorer — Dan Brown — from each of the past two seasons. Of the returnees, only senior Hamza Elotmani and junior Ryan Fackner, with two apiece, found the net more than once last year.

“We don’t have any proven goal scorers, but we’re looking to be scrappy and get opportunities from outworking the opponent,” Longo said. “I don’t know if we’re as talented as we’ve been in recent years, but chemistry can go a long way.”

Junior Lucas Munoz, a transfer from Nassau Community College, is expected to bolster the forward group. Fackner may also see time up front along with junior Ibrahima Diarra and sophomore Chris Ernest.

The midfield boasts three important pieces to the puzzle: Elotmani, Lester Franco and Joey Pinto. Longo said Franco is the Lions’ top talent, while Pinto is a weapon on set plays.

On the defensive side it all starts in goal with senior keeper Justin Corke, who posted three shutouts last season. “He’s very determined and better than he’s ever been,” Longo said. “I feel he’s the best keeper in the conference.”

Four-year starter Dane Leavy is an attack-minded fullback with an outstanding fitness level, and the defensive unit is sure to benefit from the return of hard-nosed sophomore Steven Jiminez. 

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