Michael Beecher, Staff Writer
The Bulldogs were able to send the crowd home happy in their home opener with a 2-1 win over Bronx Community College thanks to a goal and assist by Midfielder Camilo Vargas.
The next game was a nail-biter in which the Bulldogs were down 2 goals by halftime, but clawed their way back with two unanswered goals, only to eventually fall short to Ocean County College by a final score of 3-2.
The loss was the first of a three-game skid in which the team would concede at least three goals each game. The Bulldogs then rebounded with a 1-0 victory over Middlesex County College in which Viktor Pervushkin scored on an assist from Victor Amendano.
Since the win, however, they have fallen victim to another tough stretch, losing three consecutive games, including a narrow 2-1 loss to Raritan Valley.
The head coach, Giovanni Soto, was not available for comment. It’s Soto’s third year with the team and he has had playoff success as an assistant coach.
Despite encouraging results at home, the team has yet to win an away game. They are 0-3 on the road as compared to a 2-3 record at home. This is not unusual as most sports teams tend to do better at home, according to a study by Jon Bois of SB Nation.
“To take an example: based on the number of games an average NBA team won at home over the past three years, it projects to have won 10.11% more game if it were allowed to play all its contests at home,” said Bois. While the type of sport may vary, the numbers for most sports suggest that teams always do better at home.
The home-field advantage is something that Hernandez, calls “the bergen bounce.” “We know our field,” said Hernandez.
The Bulldogs are young. More than half of the players on the roster are freshmen. This includes the goalkeeper, Randall New, who despite being a freshman, has shown promise.
“[New] is getting a lot of good experience and really keeping us in games,” said Bergen Athletic Director Jorge Hernandez.
There are certain players besides the goalkeeper that have electrified the team, such as the aforementioned Viktor Pervushkin who has a goal and assist in his two starts and freshman Camilo Vargas who also shares the same statline.
“We added Pervushkin because we were struggling with scoring, and we have another big-time midfielder in Camilo Vargas,” said Hernandez. Vargas is just a freshman, but the athletic director sees potential in him. “He may be an all-conference player,” added Hernandez.
Despite struggles on the road, Hernandez remains optimistic. “If they can build chemistry, they should be off and running in the next few weeks.”
If the team can finish with an even record, at least in their region, they’ll qualify for playoffs. They have a draw to their names as well, which is not as helpful as a win, is still much better than a loss.
The good news for the Bulldogs is they play three of the six games remaining in October at home. If they can salvage a win or two on the road, continuing to playoffs would be a strong possibility. “We have a little bit of a climb to go, but anything is doable,” said Hernandez.
The team will close out the regular season in October. Their last home game is Saturday, Oct. 12.