Men’s soccer shutout at Mercyhurst

Published by Karl Ludwig, Author: Karl Ludwig - Rocket Contributor, Date: October 20, 2017
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The Slippery Rock men’s soccer team traveled to Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa. on Wednesday afternoon for a PSAC match against the Mercyhurst men’s soccer team in front of a crowd of 134 fans. Mercyhurst dispatched Slippery Rock 5-0 in a one-sided affair.

The Lakers capitalized on a strong opening 20 minutes of play with a penalty kick goal, stemming from a foul from a Slippery Rock defender, from Fjodor vanKipperslui in the 22nd minute. The Lakers took a 1-0 lead at 22:22.

Just before halftime, the Lakers struck again when Pat Darby placed a well-timed through ball to Connor Wilkinson in the box which Wilkinson slotted past the Rock’s senior goalkeeper Johnathon Sharp. The strike at 43:19 gave the Lakers a 2-0 lead at the half.

Coming out from halftime, the Lakers executed a near perfect transition play, capped with a goal from Pablo Vela on a pass laid off from Wilkinson in the 46th minute. The Vela goal expanded the Lakers lead to 3-0 at 46:11.

Any hope of a comeback from the Rock was snuffed out when vanKipperslui touch passed a perfect ball to Michael Blancato. Blancato slipped the ball into the bottom left corner of the net just beyond Sharp in the 61st minute. The 4-0 lead the Lakers had built at 61:24 seemed like the probable final score of the match.

Just five minutes later, however, to ice the match, Franco Soldati curled a ball into the top corner on a shot coming from outside the box. The goal which was assisted by vanKipperslui, his second of the match, at 66:39 widened the Lakers lead to 5-0; that score held up for the final 24 minutes of the match.

The Lakers outshot The Rock 17 (8) to 11 (5). Sharp recorded 3 saves in 80 minutes of play and sophomore goalkeeper Matt Hunsberger, who was in goal the final 10 minutes, did not face a shot. Laker’s goalkeeper Martin Jarc recorded 5 saves in the win.

Junior midfielder George Oakley paced the Rock with 3 shots (2 being on goal) while freshman midfielder Cory Olix and junior midfielder Justin Minda each attempted 2 shots. Senior midfielder Tyler McCarthy, sophomore defender Liam Gasparotto, junior midfielder Anthony Werth, and freshman forward Hayden Seifert each attempted a shot each.

Slippery Rock drops to 4-8-3 with a 3-4-2 PSAC record following the loss, a disappointing result coming off the heels of a 4-0 shutout win over California University (Pa.), while Mercyhurst moves to 10-4 with a 6-2 PSAC record. Moving forward, Slippery Rock will host #12 ranked West Chester for a PSAC match on Saturday, Oct. 21st at James Egli field. The start time will be 3:30 p.m. with the match also being the soccer team’s senior night.

Karl is a senior sport management major and communication minor entering his second year on The Rocket staff. He will serve as the sports editor after previously serving as the assistant sports editor. During his time with The Rocket, he has covered a majority of sports on campus, and he hopes to cover them all by the time his time with the paper is over. After graduation, he hopes to work in the sports writing field.

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