After entering halftime down 3-2, the Slippery Rock University men’s soccer (10-5) team rallied early in the second half to score two goals within five minutes to defeat Gannon University (5-8-1) on Wednesday.
SRU won the game 4-3.
SRU found themselves down early after Gannon was able to capitalize on a Slippery Rock own goal. The Golden Knights added to their lead in the 26th minute when freshman Ted Martin scored on a header. The Rock finally found the score column when senior forward Stephen Donnelly found the back of the net to narrow the Gannon lead to 2-1. Nearly three minutes after Donnelly’s goal, Gannon struck right back as senior Robbie Bennett scored to give the Golden Knights a 3-1 lead in the 37th minute.
Despite the early two-goal deficit, the Rock was able to score one final goal with 20 seconds remaining in the first half, cutting the Golden Knights lead to 3-2. Dom Francis scored the goal, registering his seventh goal on the season.
“That goal before halftime might have been the one that wins us the game,” SRU head coach Andy Hoggarth said. “Bringing it back to 3-2, and it brought our mentality back. We knew that we could win this game. It was just a matter of taking our chances and we took them.”
The Green and White entered the second half with plenty of energy, and Donnelly scored his second goal of the game just two minutes into the half, tying the score at three.
Moments later, junior forward Peter Boylan gave the Rock the lead as he scored his seventh goal of the season. The Rock held off the Golden Knights for the remainder of the game, and were able to secure the 4-3 victory.
“Going in at half, we got that one goal to cut the lead at one,” Donnelly said. “We knew coming out of half we wanted to make sure we get at least one more and we got it and then another one. It was a good for us.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Steven Rerick was in net for the entire 90 minutes of the game for the Green and White. Rerick was able to save five shots on eight shots fired, while allowing three goals to get by.
Junior defender Nick Kutcher had two assists in the game, while both Francis and sophomore midfielder Josh Allman each had one. Donnelly led SRU with six shots, followed by junior forward Mike Ilodigwe, Francis, and Boylan with two each.
Senior defender Josh Brake also added one shot for the Rock.
SRU also benefited from only being whistled for seven fouls compared to Gannon’s 21. The Rock outshot the Golden Knights 19-7, and also held the advantage in corner kicks at 7-1.
The Rock will travel north to Erie, Pennsylvania to take on Mercyhurst University (13-2) Saturday.
This will be the two teams’ first matchup against each other since SRU defeated the Lakers in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship game last year.
Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.