This Saturday afternoon, the Franciscan University of Steubenville men’s soccer team began its Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference season with a loss to Medaille College at home under overcast skies.
The first half of the game was full of intense action, with both teams fighting the slippery, mud-soaked field to push into the lead. Three minutes in, Medaille made an attack on goal, but Franciscan’s sophomore goalkeeper Brian Gaughan blocked the shot.
The Barons responded in turn with an attempt from freshman midfielder Nick Miller, who shot just high of the goal. Multiple fouls were called on both teams as the match grew physical, and the playing conditions worsened as the field was torn up by cleats.
In the 18th minute, sophomore midfielder JP Bobak broke through Medaille’s defense to shoot on goal but hit just wide of his mark. He shot again only a few minutes later but was stopped by a save from Medaille’s goalkeeper. Miller also shot on goal again but struck just high of his mark. Senior midfielder Brennan McNamara took a shot but was unable to score, and both teams ended the half scoreless.
The second half proved more eventful, with players from both teams receiving yellow cards and warnings from the referee.
Just under two minutes into the half, Medaille’s offense was the first to mark the scoreboard, pushing past Franciscan’s defense and drawing out the goalkeeper to put the ball in the net. Fifteen minutes later, a foul was called on Gaughan, and Medaille scored again off of a penalty kick. A minute later, Medaille scored its final goal off of a 50/50 ball, putting it just out of the keeper’s reach. This lead would hold to the end of the match, and the game ended 3-0 in Medaille’s favor.
“We try to keep it classy when we talk to the referees and stuff like that even when we disagree with calls, but overall I thought we played pretty decently,” said Head Coach Christian Bobak. “We just need to capitalize on our opportunities and have less errors. (Medaille) won the conference last year, so this was a good test for us. Our next few games, we need to set the tone and come out and show that we belong on the top, in the top three.”
The Barons look to pick up momentum for the season at their next home game against Bethany College for a non-conference match this Monday, Sept. 24 at 4 p.m.