The Slippery Rock men’s soccer team welcomed the #22 ranked Millersville men’s soccer team to James Egli field on Friday afternoon for a PSAC conference match in front of a crowd of 87 people. Millersville pulled away for a 4-1 win, the worst loss for the Rock this year.
This was a particularly big game for Slippery Rock coach Steve Small who had been the assistant coach for Millersville for eight years before taking the head coach job for Slippery Rock two seasons ago.
“We ran the show for the first thirty minutes,” Small said, “and then we gave up a couple goals and it was over.”
Millersville opened the scoring early in the game coming from a cross into the box from Marcus Frangakis to Chase Flickinger who slotted the ball past Slippery Rock senior goalkeeper Johnathon Sharp in the 4th minute. The goal was the 5th of the season for Flickinger and The Marauders took a 1-0 lead.
The Rock equalized quickly when sophomore forward Luke Picchi made a great run and stepped around the Millersville keeper to bury a shot into the net in the 7th minute for his second of the year. Picchi’s goal, assisted by junior midfielder George Oakley, brought the match to a 1-1 tie at 7:27 into the match.
The Rock had a very strong opening half an hour to the match, despite conceding the first goal of the game. The Rock had one of their best chances in the 32nd minute when freshman midfielder Cory Olix found himself in open space in front of the net and rocketed a shot off the Marauder goalkeeper Coby Breen which was cleared by the defense. The near-miss came back to haunt the Rock only a couple minutes later.
The Marauders responded with two goals in under a minute when Dylan Fogerty crossed a nice ball into the box that Jacob Gosselin shot past Sharp in the 34th minute. Gosselin struck again moments later when Jesse Zimmerman laid a ball off to Gosselin who blasted the shot to the right post and past Sharp. Gosselin’s fifth and sixth goals on the season. The Marauders used the flurry to take a 3-1 lead at 35:17.
The Marauders struck again next when Zimmerman crossed a well-placed ball from the right edge of the box and found Flickinger for his second goal of the game and his sixth of the year in the 43rd minute. Millersville went into halftime with a 4-1 lead and the score held up as Millersville went on to win the match 4-1.
Slippery Rock and Millersville each attempted 8 shots but the Rock only had 2 on goal while the Marauders recorded 6 on goal. Sharp recorded 2 saves while the Marauders goalkeeper Coby Breen recorded 1.
Picchi scored the only goal for the Rock while Oakley provided the only assist. Senior defender Patrick Sullivan paced the Rock with two shot attempts. Picchi and Olix each recorded a shot on goal. Oakley, senior midfielder Tyler McCarthy, junior midfielder Anthony Werth, and junior defender Kenton Keeslar each attempted a shot.
The loss drops the Rock to 3-7-3 with a 2-3-2 PSAC record. Millersville improves to a 9-3-1 record while being 5-2-0 in the PSAC. The loss, while disappointing, can be used as motivation and a learning experience.
“Mentality and heart,” Small said, “that’s probably the biggest thing (to improve), having the heart and wanting to be here.”
The Rock will next travel to Mercyhurst University for a PSAC match with on Wednesday, October 18th at 3:30.