The first-ever playoff win for the Franciscan university men’s soccer team came in the form of a 2-1 playoff victory over conference opponent La Roche College, a win characterized by sensational play from decorated senior forward Leo Hermann.
La Roche struck first, slipping a shot past senior goalkeeper Thomas Dosedel on the near post for a 1-0 lead, a lead they would maintain, despite constant Baron pressure, until after halftime.
Then, the Barons’ offense struck. The squad finally leveled the game just two minutes after halftime, when in the 47th minute, junior midfielder Mark Fioramonti sent a shot off the crossbar. Freshman midfielder Sebastian Koehler was there for the rebound, though the La Roche goalkeeper sent that back into play. Hermann found himself in the right place at the right time, sending the second shot’s rebound past the keeper, and putting the Barons on the board.
The score would remain even for just over twenty minutes, when Hermann would put Franciscan in the lead for good. His goal, a beautiful chip off a goalkeeper deflection, set his running points total on the season to 45, easily a personal best.
The Barons’ defensive efforts proved a team effort during the final 22 minutes of regulation, a testament to the unit’s ability to finish games, and to play team soccer. They cleared a corner kick only minutes after Hermann’s goal, denying La Roche even a shot on goal.
After Hermann’s ten shots, a team-high mark, were put firmly in the books as the final buzzer sounded, the Barons swarmed the field, with Head Coach Christian Bobak’s arms in the air, to celebrate the program’s first-ever playoff win.
The game also marked goals 18 and 19 from Hermann on the season, in the team’s eleventh win on the year, also a program best. Dosedel also came up big for the Barons in the matchup, saving four shots on goal.
The Barons have a few days to rest before the biggest game in program history, when they travel to face Penn St.-Behrend, their conference rival and No. 1 postseason tournament seed, for a semifinal matchup slated for 2 pm.