The Slippery Rock University men’s soccer team (11-7) was unable to capitalize on offense Tuesday, against West Chester University (10-7), which resulted in elimination from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Tournament, possibly ending their season.West Chester defeated SRU 3-0.
The Rock was forced to play without leading goal scorer, senior forward Stephen Donnelly, who had a hat-trick against West Chester in the regular season finale on Saturday. Donnelly was suspended for one match and was ineligible to play on Tuesday.
“Being without Stephen definitely factored into this game,” SRU head coach Andy Hoggarth said. “He’s our highest attacker in goals and assists, and with him having the hat trick on Saturday and not having him on Tuesday was a big hit for us.”
The Green and White were overpowered on offense, being outshot 17-10. Sophomore forward Matt Sangermano led the Rock with three shots, followed by junior Mike Illodigwe with two. Junior Peter Boylan, sophomore Josh Allman, senior Brandon Chiu, sophomore Mike Pcholinsky, and junior Gabriel Hrecznyj all added one shot apiece.
“After outshooting them that first half, we should have found a couple of ways to put that game away,” Hoggarth said. “Certain situations just happened during the game that made things very difficult on us, and just a bit to high of an uphill battle.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Steven Rerick played the entire 90 minutes for the Rock. Rerick faced nine shots, but was only able to stop six of them while allowing three to get by for West Chester goals. Rerick appeared in 16 games this season, allowing a total of 30 goals in 207 shots faced for a save percentage of .725.
The Green and White scored a total of 38 goals during the 2014 campaign, led by Donnelly, who scored a team high 13 goals on 32 shots-on-goal. Donnelly added seven assists on the year, ending the regular season with a total of 33 points.
The Rock held a better home record, going 6-3 in games played in Slippery Rock and 5-4 in games on the road. The Rock’s overall record stands at 11-7 with a .611 overall winning percentage. The Green and White also played strong in PSAC showdowns, with a conference record of 7-4 with a .636 winning percentage.
“In all honesty, I was absolutely delighted with what the guys did this year,” Hoggarth said. “Coming in from where they were in the conference last year and then having a new coach is always going to bring in potential challenges. The way the guys responded to what I wanted to do and the relationship we built, it was still a great year. Overall I was happy and I couldn’t have been happier with how these guys played together this year.”