Recap: The Hall's Special Season Comes to a Close in 2-1 Loss to New HampshireDate: November 19, 2022
By: Justin Lotito
Seton Hall Athletics
After a devastating 6-0 loss in the BIG EAST finals to the Creighton Blue Jays, the Seton Hall Pirates (7-3-7) hoped to still receive a NCAA tournament bid. They were awarded a first-round road matchup against the New Hampshire Wildcats (14-4), where they were beat 2-1.
Defeating the Wildcats at their house would be a tough task, considering they are 53-3-7 at home, outscoring opponents 127 to 21.
Things got off to a rough start for the Pirates. In the third minute of the game, New Hampshire’s forward Eli Goldman scored a goal to take the lead.
Eight minutes into the game, it seemed it was getting late early for the Pirates. Bilal Kamal, the senior midfielder from London, put New Hampshire up a commanding 2-0. Midfielder, Chris Pinkham assisted Kamal on the assist.
Only eight minutes into the contest, Seton Hall was on the brink of a blowout, and the Pirates would have to act quick to prevent an early tournament exit.
Konstantin Donalies stepped up for the Pirates in the biggest game of the season, scoring a goal in the 11th minute to cut the Wildcats lead down to one.
After both teams combined for three goals in the first 11 minutes, it appeared the first half would be a high scoring affair. However, that was far from the case.
The rest of the half was a defensive battle, as both teams had their share of opportunities to score, but both defenses made big stops. The Pirates had seven shots to the Wildcats six. However, New Hampshire had four shots on goal, compared to a Seton Hall one shot on goal.
Both teams could feel the pressure of the tournament, as things became chippy. The refs had to break up two scuffles between the teams in the first, a trend that would continue on in the second.
With the season on the line, the Pirates entered the second half still down 2-1. If they wanted to spark a comeback, they would need to move fast.
To start the half, they forced two corner kicks. However, they came up empty on both tries.
Unlike the first half, the Pirates were able to put great pressure on the Wildcats defense. They played with a sense of urgency considering their season was on the line.
A scuffle again broke out, the refs again had to break it up.
In the 80th minute, Seton Hall had a crucial corner kick. Again, however they were unable to capitalize on the opportunity.
A lot to look forward to with this program.— Seton Hall Men's Soccer (@SHUMSOC) November 18, 2022
- Second NCAA Tournament appearance in three seasons.
- Best finish in the @BIGEAST since 1991.
- Most points in league play since 2006.
The future is bright.#HALLin⚪ pic.twitter.com/bCA1Me56EM
Even though the Pirates had multiple chances late, they were unable to put anything in the net, ending their season prematurely with a heartbreaking 2-1 loss against the Wildcats.
Justin Lotito can be reached at email@example.com.