Penn State-Altoona’s last-minute goal secured their 2-1 win against the Barons soccer team Tuesday night.
Thirty-five minutes into the first half, Penn State-Altoona found the back of the net for the first goal of the game. The Penn State-Altoona Lions drove down into the corner and dribbled across the end line. Taking on Franciscan’s defense, one Lion passed the ball to the top of the 6-yard line to an oncoming player who slotted it into the back of the net.
Franciscan fought back just 11 minutes into the second half, putting a goal up on the board to tie the game at 1-1. Senior defender Hans Baldau rocketed a ball into the opponent’s box, dropping it perfectly to his teammates. Junior midfielder Ian Baldau got a touch on it, passing it to freshman forward Mikey Irving. In a scrum, Irving got his body behind the ball and buried it in the left corner of the net, securing a 1-1 tie.
The Barons controlled the majority of the second half, only letting the Lions cross into their half four times. The Barons outshot Penn State-Altoona 13-4 but were unsuccessful in finding the back of the net. Sophomore forward John Paul Bobak led the team in shooting with seven of the 13 shots the Barons took.
The Barons pushed back against Penn State-Altoona’s aggressive play, playing a controlled game. Despite the Baron’s solid play, Penn State-Altoona took a shot from 45 yards out, unattested, dropping the ball right below the cross bar, out of the reach of Franciscan’s sophomore goalkeeper Brian Gaughan.
“We played really well. We had 13 shots on goal and only let off four. We have really impressive stats but aren’t coming out with wins and that has to change,” senior captain Leo James said. “Ian (Baldau) provided a strong presence on the field all night. He won every header and controlled the middle the entire game. JP (Bobak) and Mikey (Irving) also played well. They creating a lot of chances up top for us. Mikey (Irving) was able to capitalize on one and put it in the back of the net. That’s what we have to work on. We have to figure out how to put the ball in the back of the net.”
Head Coach Christian Bobak was cautiously optimistic about the team’s performance, saying, “The midfield played well throughout the game today. Ian Baldau especially put a lot of pressure on the ball all over the field and really helped to control the ball for us today. The loss was a good wake-up call for us as a team though. We’ll move on from here and work on getting the ball in the back of the net.”
The Barons’ next home game is on Wednesday, Oct. 17 against Mt. Aloysius College at 3:15 p.m.