Despite going into the match as the underdogs, the Marauder men’s soccer team managed to top visiting Slippery Rock by a score of 31 in the team’s first PSAC game of the young season.
The first half of Wednesday afternoon’s game was quiet on both ends. Though Slippery Rock out shot the Marauders three times over, neither team was able to put one into the back of the net. The two PSAC rivals entered the second half in a 00 draw.
The second half was a very different story for both teams.
After failing to score a goal on seven shots in the first half, the two teams combined for four goals and 21 shots in the second half. Fortunately for the ‘Ville and coach Steve Widdowson, three of the four goals went the Marauders way.
“[The win] was down to two things: belief in ourselves regardless of our current record and a lot of hard work that we put in leading up to the game,” said Widdowson.
The hard work Widdowson spoke of came to light just over a minute into the second half when redshirt freshman forward Jonathan Dadeboe took advantage when a Slippery Rock defender lost his footing and hit the turf, netting his second goal of the season.
In the 65th minute, Slippery Rock’s Matt Sangermano evened the score, scoring his second goal of the season off of a pass from Josh Allman.
The tie was broken in the 73rd minute when the ball was headed into the back of the net to give the Marauders a lead they would never relinquish.
A bit of insult was added to injury when the final goal of the match came courtesy of the head of a Slippery Rock defender, who deflected a penalty shot by Vazquez into his own goal. Looking at the box score, it seems as though the Rock outplayed the Marauders most of the afternoon. The Rock managed to out shoot the Marauders 1910 in the rematch of last year’s NCAA playoff matchup.
“It was a really disappointing loss for us, especially after they knocked us out of the tournament last season,” said Slippery Rock captain Ryan VanDorick. “We really wanted this game, but we didn’t capitalize on the chances we had, and obviously [Millersville] did.”
Despite being outshot on the afternoon, the Marauders were able to make the most of their opportunities.
“We were much more proficient in making our shots count,” said Widdowson when asked about how the Marauders were able to edge the Rock. Widdowson was hesitant to praise any one player, however. Widdowson continued: “We are very team focused and no one individual will carry us for the entire season… We have never been about the individual so we will just see who steps up on a game to game basis as we know someone will.”
The Marauders will have to wait until Friday, Oct. 3 to see who will step up against visiting Gannon. The Golden Knights travel to Millersville coming off of two consecutive losses in which they failed to score a goal. The game is set to start at 5:30 p.m.