The Golden Lions fell to 0-3 after a 4-1 loss at Sussex County Community College. An early RVCC mistake and three second half goals allowed the Skylanders to improve their record to 4-1 overall.
Looking to earn their first win after back-to-back defeats to open the season, RVCC got off to the worst possible start, conceding the opening goal only :30 into the match. Sussex won a throw in deep in RVCC's half, Ryan Hamblin, making his first start in goal for the season, misjudged the flight of the ball allowing Sussex a simple tap in to take the early 1-0 lead.
The Golden Lions immediately fought back. Strong running by Jhaliyl Stewart and Erick Hernandez repeatedly forced turnovers in Sussex's end but RVCC couldn't find the final touch to even the score before the break.
RVCC's day continued to get worse as injuries began to mount. Top scorer Erick Hernandez, Shubhi Oberoi, Raul Otayza and Jon Fischer all had to leave the match with injuries, several other players were slowed by knocks in what became an increasingly physical game. As the Golden Lions had to rely on an inexperienced bench already missing several players, Sussex took advantage of poor defending to quickly tack on two goals within 3 minutes. Sussex's Brad Van Treuren scored his 2nd of the game in the 74th minute to push the score to 4-0. Andrew Williams scored his second goal of the season from the penalty spot in the 84th minute to make it 4-1. RVCC continued to carve out chances to pull back another goal but poor finishing kept the deficit at three. Ryan Hamblin was credited with 3 saves, Sebastian Laskowski did not face a shot for RVCC.
Despite the loss, the positives heavily outweighed the negatives. "We couldn't have started any worse than we did today but the response was outstanding. People outside of our locker room look at our record and think we're a bad team but they couldn't be any more wrong. I'm proud of how our guys responded" commented men's Head Coach Gerry Montague. "We won't quit, our guys work hard for 90 minutes. We played a very good team today who had a huge size advantage but we kept going at them, we kept creating chances to get back into the game. No one is happy about losing games but this is a tough, gritty team and we're proud of them".
RVCC finally opens their home season on Thursday, September 18th when they host Manor College, kickoff is 3:30pm.