The Slippery Rock University men’s soccer team suffered a 1-0 loss in its opening game against non-conference opponent Malone University on the road Thursday night.
Sophomore George Oakley led Slippery Rock on the day with three shots on goal. Freshman Nick Sodini and senior Mike Pcholinsky each added a shot on goal in the loss. Junior goalkeeper Jonathan Sharp got the start and played all 90 minutes for The Rock, stopping a career-high six shots to go with the one goal allowed.
Slippery Rock put the heat on early as Pcholinsky put a shot on goal in the second minute and SRU drew three corners over the opening 10:55 of the first half. Malone’s goalie Cody Hilty was able to stop Pcholinsky’s shot and the Pioneer defense cleared all three corner attempts.
Sharp went on to stop a pair of Malone shots in the 14th and 22nd minutes while The Rock’s offensive attack countered with shots from junior Adolofo Segura and Oakley, but neither attempt found the back of the net. The game was scoreless heading into the second half.
Malone netted the game’s only goal early in the second half when Gino Finelli converted a pass from the left of the box by Christian Kallenberger at 52:18.
Sharp regrouped after the score and made two more saves to keep it a one-score game, but The Rock was unable to find the equalizer as a header from sophomore Anthony Werth sailed wide and two more shots by Oakley were stopped by Hilty as Malone hung on for the win.
Malone held the edge in both shots on goal (7-5) and corner kicks (6-4).
Slippery Rock will look to even its record when it hosts Lake Erie College at 2 p.m. Sunday at James Egli Field for their home opener.