The Slippery Rock University men’s soccer team lost a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) contest to Mercyhurst University, 3-1, Wednesday afternoon at James Egli Field.
Slippery Rock recorded season-highs in both shots (20) and shots on goal (nine) while also matching its season-best total in corner kicks with five.
“I think we played well,” head coach Steve Small said after the 3-1 loss. “I challenged them to record 20 shots this game and they did, but we had some bad luck on the attacking and defensive end, and the ball just didn’t go our way.”
Senior Jacob Thiel scored his first goal of the season while senior Mike Pcholinsky record his first assist on the goal.
Sophomores George Oakley and Justin Minda and senior Josh Allman all registered three shots. Pcholinsky and juniors Kyle Boyer and Patrick Sullivan each recorded two shots.
Junior goaltender Steven Rerick stopped a season-high seven shots in 90 minutes in his second start of the year.
“I thought Rerick played well. There were one or two I that I thought he could come up better with but the first goal was a breakaway so not much you can do there,” Small said.
The Lakers posted the first two shots of the game in the sixth minute, both stopped by Rerick, with The Rock attempting four shots over the following 14 minutes of play.
Mercyhurst scored first when Thom Derks buried his sixth goal of the season at 25:42 to give the Lakers and early 1-0 lead.
Slippery Rock followed up the Mercyhurst goal with four more shots as Thiel beat goalkeeper Alex Brems off of Pcholisky’s assist to make it a 1-1 game with under nine minutes to play in the opening half. Rerick then stopped a pair of Jorge Gonzalez shots to keep it a tie game heading into halftime.
Mark Roche of Mercyhurst scored nine minutes into the second half to put the Lakers up by a goal at 56:14
Allman record two shots for the Rock after Mercyhurst’s goal, but one was saved by Brems and the other was blocked by a Laker defender. Pcholinsky also recorded a shot that sailed wide of the goal.
Mercyhurst put the game away with an insurance goal at 77:12 by Gonzalez that put the Lakers’ lead to two goals. SRU had another chance at a goal in the 79th minute when back-to-back shots by Sullivan were stopped as Mercyhurst held on for the 3-1 victory.
“We changed formation a little bit, personnel and who started today but the guys who came off the bench today did a great job.” Small said. “Everybody carried their weight, but the little extra bit at the end is what we’re missing right now.”
Slippery Rock will return to action on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. when it hosts Wheeling Jesuit University for a non-conference match at Egli Field on Alumni Day.