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.