Men’s soccer defense weak opening game

BY MATTHEW EBBERWEIN

The Franciscan University men’s soccer team had their home field debut Thursday night as they took on the Geneva Golden Tornadoes, but despite the Barons’ strong defense, Geneva took the victory with an 8-2 win.

During the first half, the Barons kept the aggressive Tornado offense at bay. Between their tight defensive pressure and their goalkeeper, Edward Huber, Franciscan prevented 11 Tornado scoring attempts, allowing both teams to start the second half scoreless.

Franciscan Coach Ward Rogers was pleased with the half-time score as he said, “When you take a team as good as this … to have them in a position where we’re zero-zero at half-time, that’s a really good thing.”

The empty scoreboard didn’t last long into the second half though as Geneva forward, PJ Luksik, ended the gridlock with a goal five minutes into the second half.

“We put so much pressure on our defense that it’s only a matter of time. When you have a team as quality as this is and as accurate as they are it’s only a matter of time before they break you down,” said Rogers.

This held true as the Baron defense was quickly worn down by the Tornadoes midway through the second half. Soon after Geneva midfielder Sean Bernardi was carried off the field with a leg fracture, the Tornadoes pulled away, scoring four goals in a matter of five minutes.

Franciscan attempted less than 10 shots over the course of the game while the aggressive Tornadoes attempted over 20. With two offensive injuries on the Baron’s roster right now, Coach Rogers recognized his team’s struggle in midfield and is hopeful that his young team will learn to get more organized on offense as the season progresses.

“We might have to actually look at the way we’re organized in the midfield and maybe make a few changes that will get us a little bit more pressure through the midfield,” said Rogers

After tonight’s loss the Barons move to a 1-2-1 record as they prepare to travel to St. Vincent’s College on Sunday at 3:30.

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