Defender Ronnie Minges loads up to kick the ball. PHOTO COURTESY OF MILLERSVILLE ATHLETICS
(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED OCTOBER 28, 2021)
DANTE S. MCLEOD
A game full of missed opportunities ends in an unwanted outcome because of them. On Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, at Millersville University’s Pucillo Field, Millersville Men’s Soccer lost in overtime to the West Chester Golden Rams.
At the start of the first half, the visiting Golden Rams received the first possession of the ball. Early on, the pace quickly escalated, with a lot of vocalness occurring in this half.
Teammates on both teams constantly yelled directions at each other, shouted in disgust with one another and motivated their teams to play better. The teams constantly went back and forth with ball control. However, ball control played a small factor in the score of the game.
Both teams had multiple chances to score early and throughout this half but would fail. The Marauders and Golden Rams showed strong defense at this time and throughout the half, leading to this result.
Goalies on both sides showed why they are starting for their teams. West Chester’s and Millersville’s goalies stepped up when faced with challenging drives. In one instance, Millersville’s goalie had to get physical to stop a Golden Rams’ score; he would also have a few more great stops against West Chester.
More physical play caused a Millersville player to leave the game with what may have been an injury. After this, the game slowed down some, then picked up where it left off. Fans seemed to have problems with the way the referees were officiating the game.
They were very annoyed with the officials in this half. There were a few calls that may have been questionable. Millersville fans were outraged over one particular Millersville penalty, questioning what had happened. Midway through the half, still no team managed to put up a score.
Nearing the end of the half, Millersville would again earn a potential scoring chance. They again failed to deliver. The first half ended with a 0-0 score. Despite this, the Marauders’ showed a drive that looked promising.
This type of play could leave fans in good spirits about the second half. However, fans still had worries.
The Marauders and Golden Rams would start the same way they did in the first half. A high level of vocalness and equal amount of ball control, yet no team could score. Fans were troubled by this.
Although there were some good moments from Millersville Men’s Soccer in the first half, the inability to score did not sit well with fans. There were concerns of this play transitioning into the second half.
With scoring still being a difficult feat, play on defense became even more crucial. In this area, Millersville and West Chester still delivered.
Fans were also still going on about how they felt about the officiating. The dislike over the way the officials called the game in the first half carried over into the second half as well.
Another player may have left the game due to injury. Due to a bad play on Millersville’s part, a West Chester player had to leave the field. With more mistakes occurring in this half, emotions started to boil over, not just with the fans but with players as well.
Players on both sides expressed frustrations with their teammates. Things just were not getting done as either side had hoped. The physicality still ensued as the urgency to score picked up in the final minutes of the half.
Down to the finish, it seemed like Millersville had gotten over the hump. They finally managed to score a goal. However, one problem followed this.
Unfortunately, the game clock had already hit zero, causing the goal not to count. At the end of regulation, a 0-0 score still marked the scoreboard. The inconvenience of this moment became overshadowed with fan encouragement.
The Millersville side began to cheer on their home team Marauders. The motivation from this would have to carry over into overtime.
Sadly, Millersville failed to act on the momentum they gained at the end of the second half. Off an assist from Forward Doug Goitia, Midfielder Austin Eveland, according to wcupagoldenrams.com, scored the winning goal for West Chester, ending overtime and giving West Chester the win, per Millersville athletics.
This loss may have been one that Millersville could not afford. One fan spoke about how a win in this game would have helped the Marauders better secure a playoff spot.
Despite the loss, Millersville Men’s Soccer still has a respectable record on Millersville athletics. There playoff opportunity still has a chance of happening. Hopefully, they can add on to that in the win column against Shepherd University next Saturday, found in the schedule at Millersville Athletics.