The Slippery Rock University men’s soccer team defeated Lock Haven University, 2-1, in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play Saturday on Senior Day at James Egli Field.
Slippery Rock earned the win on a day in which heavy rain fell for hours before the game and continued through the first half. The Rock’s victory was the 600th in program history.
The Rock’s 2016 senior class of Josh Allman, Mike Pcholinsky, Arran Robertson and Jacob Thiel were recognized prior to the game for their contributions to the program over their SRU careers.
Rock head coach Steve Small said that despite this only being his first year he feels a special connection to this year’s seniors.
“They’re a fantastic group,” Small said. “They’ve made the transition for myself very easy. They’ve showed me the ropes and how things are done here. The leadership has been very, very good all year.”
After a scoreless opening 30 minutes of play, sophomore Justin Minda broke the tie at 31:58 when he beat Lock Haven goalkeeper Troy Teresak for the game’s first goal off an assist from sophomore George Oakley. However, under six minutes later Lock Haven evened the score thanks to Troy Amspacher’s 14th goal of the year to send the game into halftime tied at 1-1.
Both teams had chances to score early in the second half, but the next goal didn’t come until the 88th minute when Allman received a pass from junior Kyle Boyer and headed home what would turn out to be the game-winning goal. Allman finished the game with a team-high four shots.
Playing in his final home game, Allman knew that, if given the opportunity, he would be able to deliver for his team.
“I’ve been dealing with some injuries so I wasn’t sure if I could play today. I said ‘when I’m in I’m going to score,” Allman said. “[Getting the game-winning goal on senior day] is like picture perfect, it’s ideal. It’s a cool way to go out, especial because all my family came today.”
Oakley, Pcholinsky and Minda all finished the game with three shots while Robertson added two himself. Thiel, sophomores Anthony Werth and Enrique Trevino, freshman Nick Sodini, and junior Patrick Sullivan all added one shot apiece.
Junior goalkeeper Steven Rerick made three saves and allowed one goal over 90 minutes in the victory.
For the game, The Rock held edges over Lock Haven in total shots (20-10) and shots on goal (9-4) while Lock Haven had a 7-5 advantage in corner kicks. The 20 shots matched a season-high for Slippery Rock; SRU also had 20 shots against Mercyhurst on Sept. 21
Slippery Rock will conclude its 2016 season 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Pitt-Johnstown.
“It’s crazy to think that my first year is already done,” Small said. “Obviously [this season] is disappointing from an overall stand point. I thought the guys deserve a better record than what they’ve gotten, because we’ve played some fantastic soccer and some games just didn’t bounce our way, which is unfortunate because they deserved to have a better record.”