The SRU men’s soccer team made its furthest road trip of the season on Friday to face off against non-conference foe Simon Fraser University. The contest was the first between the two teams, and traveling over 2,600 miles, north of the border to Burnaby, British Columbia, SRU made its first-ever visit to Canada.
Slippery Rock entered the game tied for first in the PSAC in goals allowed, and the team hoped their defense would help stymie an SFU squad that came into the game ranked second in the United Soccer Coaches rankings. The Clan had outscored their first three opponents 12-2, and they had similar success against the Rock.
Simon Fraser dominated the game from the start, recording their first shot on goal 59 seconds into the game. All in all, the Clan managed 21 shots, 12 of which were on goal, to Slippery Rock’s two (one on target). Rock goalkeeper Jonathan Sharp, who came into the game ranked second in the PSAC with a .889 save percentage, stood tall in the net, sending away eleven of those shots. Simon Fraser also had ten corner kicks, all in the first period, as the Rock did not receive one. One of Sharp’s eleven saves came in the 41st minute, but a little over half a minute later, Simon Fraser took the lead. SFU junior forward Michael North directed a crosser into the box, which forward Connor Glennon sent into the net with a header.
The Rock’s lone shot on goal came in the 44th minute, sophomore forward Luke Picchi shooting one toward the Clan’s Miguel Hof, who made the save. SRU would not have another shot until the second period, when in the 69th minute, Kyle Boyer, who tallied the Rock’s only goal in a 1-1 draw against Tiffin the week before, kicked one that bounced off of the crossbar. It would be the Rock’s final opportunity to pull the game even, and the Clan took the victory 1-0.
The loss dropped Slippery Rock’s season mark to 1-2-1. The team will get its chance to rebound Wednesday in their own backyard in a non-conference clash against Ashland University. The meeting will be the first the teams have had since SRU opened their 2012 campaign against the Eagles.