The Franciscan University of Steubenville men’s soccer team prevailed 2-1 over Heidelberg University in a high-tension game Wednesday, Sept. 25.
The Barons, though calm at the beginning, picked up speed as the game progressed, and they began to control the field. Junior midfielder JP Bobak made a centering attempt early, but unfortunately, the opposing keeper got to it first. This play gave the Barons the fire they needed to step up and control the ball.
With 25 minutes left in the first half, junior midfielder Sebastian Koehler performed a notable bicycle kick off an assist from Bobak, scoring the first goal of the game. The Student Princes came back with intensity, yet they could not hold back sophomore midfielder Nick Miller who scored with 19 minutes left in the half off an assist from Koehler.
This only increased the Barons’ hunger, and they became more aggressive and moved the ball more quickly. Heidelberg did not stand idly by, however, and put energy into defense to counter the Barons’ ferocity. As neither team could get past the other’s defense, the first half ended 2-0.
The second half picked up with the Barons controlling the ball. Tension on the field increased to dangerous heights after Heidelberg’s coach received a yellow card from the center referee for talking back. This affected both teams as players began to play more roughly and with desperation.
Heidelberg scored their first goal off a penalty kick with 32 minutes left in the game, bringing the score to 2-1, and tensions rose on and off the field. Neither team possessed the ball for long before the other intervened. A flurry of close shots on both sides were all turned aside by the respective keepers.
As the time on the clock counted down with five minutes left, the Barons came close to another goal, but it was blocked by Heidelberg’s goalie. The Barons held their ground to the end, earning their victory over their opponent.
“Very happy we got the win,” said head coach Christian Bobak. “(It was a) hard fought game which I thought we won because of our effort. Still a lot to improve on, but (I) want to give a shout out to great goalkeeping by Brian and a fantastic goal from Seb (Koehler). Looking forward to conference play!”
The men’s soccer team’s next home game will be against Penn State Behrend Oct. 5 at 1 p.m.