The Franciscan University of Steubenville Barons soccer team beat the Geneva College Golden Tornadoes with a score of 1-0 in a high-energy home match Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
At the start of the first half, the Tornadoes exercised a ferocious offense, which the Barons quickly matched. This resulted in scattered fouls throughout the half.
The half was a stalemate with possession changing frequently, but the ball stayed mostly on the Barons’ side. Midway through the half, the Barons led in fouls, saves and shots faced while the Tornadoes led in shots, shots on goal and corner kicks.
Throughout the half, several shots by the Tornadoes narrowly missed the Barons’ goal. Separately, a shot made by senior midfield Nick Miller narrowly missed following a corner kick with 10 minutes left in the half. Barons fans groaned following the unsuccessful shot.
The second half saw an increase in audience participation. A group of Barons fans, some wearing Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam household gear, aimed targeted jeers at a few of the Tornadoes players.
With 20 minutes left, graduate student midfield Sebastian Koehler performed some quick maneuvers around a handful of Tornadoes players just outside of the goalbox. Koehler shot, but the Tornadoes’ goalie tipped the ball up and over the goal.
The following corner kick resulted in a flurry of movement. Within the frenzy, a shot by graduate student forward JP Bobak, assisted by Miller and senior defense Liam Nagle, was tapped into the goal, scoring the first and only goal of the night for Franciscan.
The Tornadoes bolstered their aggression in the last six minutes of the match but to no avail. Fouls by the Tornadoes and speedy saves by the Barons’ junior goalkeeper Jax Mautone prevented the Tornadoes from scoring. The overall result: a cheerful win for the Barons.
Brent Ridenour, head men’s soccer coach, said, “Geneva does a great job scoring on corner kicks and free kicks … and we really focused on that yesterday at training, and I thought the (Barons) came out today and everybody played great defensively.”
The Barons’ two previous matches, 5-2 and 4-2 wins, counted toward the President’s Athletic Conference. This match also counted toward the PAC, marking an impressive start for the Barons in the conference.
The Barons’ next home game will be Saturday at 1 p.m., following the Franciscan tailgate party, against the St. Vincent College Bearcats.