SRU men’s soccer hits road to continue PSAC action
The Slippery Rock men’s soccer team battled against California University of Pa. and Shippensburg University last weekend and then took on Bloomsburg University on Wednesday to move their season record to 5-2-4.
All three games were Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference matchups. The Green and White recorded a win, a loss, and a tie, which moves their conference record to 1-2-1.
PSAC competition kicked off last Friday against California University.
Slippery Rock was the first to find the net and recorded a goal at the six minute mark to take a 1-0 lead.
Freshman midfielder Ryan Lutke scored off of a double assist from senior defender Drew Donoghue and junior defender Joshua Gray.
Cal-U tied the game 1-1 at the 17 minute mark, then scored another goal to take the lead in the 32nd minute.
The Rock was unable to answer back the remainder of the game and allowed Cal to find the net and increase the Vulcan’s lead to 3-1 at the 73rd minute mark.
Sophomore midfielder Joshua Puskar feels that the team still has the potential to be serious PSAC competitors despite the setback of the loss.
“As a team, we still have room to improve,” Puskar said. “Every team makes mistakes, but we are a tight group and every player brings something to the table. We’re capable of performing at the next level.”
SRU got back on their feet during last Saturday afternoon’s game and recorded their first PSAC win against Shippensburg.
It was a physical match that resulted in a total of 46 fouls and nine cautions between the two teams.
Senior forward Michael Ramirez capitalized on two penalty kicks that were both drawn by sophomore forward Chris Davis.
“It definitely felt good to score on the penalty kicks and get our first PSAC win of the season,” Ramirez said, “But a lot of the credit for those goals belongs to Chris Davis. He was able to draw both of the fouls in the box, which gave me the opportunity to score.”
Ramirez’s first penalty kick goal occurred in the 21st minute of the game after there was a handball inside the box.
Shippensburg came into the second half and tied up the game 1-1 in just 19 seconds.
The game remained at a stalemate until Davis was pulled down inside the box in the 85th minute and given another penalty kick. Ramirez sank the goal to score the game winner for the Rock.
Ramirez feels that the team is continuing to come together every day as the season progresses and that if they stay focused they will continue to have success.
“This was a huge win for us, coming off of a loss against Cal-U the day before,” Ramirez said. “We need to keep the momentum going and just take the season one game at a time.”
Slippery Rock had a few days to recuperate before they faced Bloomsburg on Wednesday.
Although Bloomsburg had control of possession during the first half, the scored remained 0-0 heading into halftime.
Both teams created chances to score after the half, but neither one could seize the opportunities. The Rock faced yet another double overtime game at home.
Puskar acknowledged the disappointment of not being able to turn the ties into wins, but remains focused on the positive aspects.
“We have played great teams this year,” Puskar said. “We would love to make all of those ties wins, but we can’t always get what we want. Each week we need to just look at the positives and continue to push ourselves.”
Slippery Rock posted a 4-0 edge in total shots and a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks in the second overtime session.
Despite these statistics, the game remained scoreless and the Green and White recorded their fourth tie of the season.
The Rock will continue PSAC play, when they head on the road for the first time since September 11, with an 8:30 p.m. match against East Stroudsburg University.