The Franciscan University of Steubenville men’s soccer team suffered a tough loss to nationally ranked No. 12 Penn State Behrend Saturday, Oct. 5.
It was a rough start for the Barons at the top of the first half as energy levels were low. This cost them a goal, and Penn State Behrend gained possession of the ball and scored in the first 11 minutes. As the opposition continued its assault, the Barons struggled to pull themselves together.
As the Lions’ nonstop assaults continued, the Barons finally penetrated the back line a few times and found the chinks in the Lions’ armor as they put a few shots on net.
The Barons’ efforts paid off as junior midfielder Sebastian Koehler performed a bicycle kick off an assist from senior midfielder Ian Baldau, tying the game 1-1 with less than 10 minutes to play in the first half.
To counter this, Penn State Behrend gained possession of the ball long enough to get a shot on net. Junior goalie Brian Gaughan saved the shot beautifully with under two minutes to play in the first half, preserving the tie.
The second half picked up where the first left off as both teams had high energy and a desire to win. The Lions scored another goal off a penalty kick, making the score 2-1 Lions. With tensions rising both on the field and on the sidelines, the ball moved from one side of the field to the other, and neither team was willing to yield.
As the match continued, both teams began to play more quickly and moved the ball faster. With 20 minutes to go, Gaughan had yet another perfect save to hold the Lions back.
However, the Lions managed to slip one into the net with just six minutes left to play. This caused the level of aggressiveness on both sides to rise. Sophomore midfielder Nick Miller made a beautiful shot with seconds left, but it was saved by the Lion’s keeper. The Barons fought against Penn State Behrend until the end of the match when the Lions came out on top, 3-1.
Head coach Christian Bobak said, “I’m really proud of the boys and their effort, and I think we can learn a lot from this game.” Bobak said he was especially proud of Ian Baldau who was an animal in the middle and Sebastian with another bicycle kick.
The men’s soccer team’s next home game will be against La Roche University Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 1 p.m.