The Rocket

Men’s soccer falls in close home-opener

Senior+midfielder+George+Oakley+moves+the+ball+up+field+in+The+Rock%27s+1-0+loss+at+home+last+season+against+No.+12+West+Chester+University.
Senior midfielder George Oakley moves the ball up field in The Rock's 1-0 loss at home last season against No. 12 West Chester University.

Senior midfielder George Oakley moves the ball up field in The Rock's 1-0 loss at home last season against No. 12 West Chester University.

Paris Malone

Paris Malone

Senior midfielder George Oakley moves the ball up field in The Rock's 1-0 loss at home last season against No. 12 West Chester University.

Brendan Howe, Rocket Contributor

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Looking to recuperate after a season-opening defeat at the hands of Tiffin, the Slippery Rock men’s soccer team welcomed Lake Erie College to James Egli Field for its first home game of the new campaign.

A repeat of last September’s matchup against the Storm, in which the Rock prevailed 2-0, was not in the cards though, as the visitors returned to Ohio with a 2-1 win.

The Rock’s first chance came in the fourth minute, as freshman forward Alexander Vilchek sent a shot toward Lake Erie’s goal. The Storm’s German goalkeeper, Tom John, made the save, and although both Omar Bangura and Nick Sodini had follow-up chances, neither could connect with the back of the net.

Twenty minutes later, the SRU was granted a penalty kick, but John was able to keep the scoreboard clean, turning away senior midfielder George Oakley’s kick. A subsequent corner kick was also unable to produce anything.

In the 37th minute, Lake Erie’s Sander Van der Sluij scored the game’s first goal on the Storm’s first shot, taking a pass into the box from Jonathon Carr and inserting it into the left side of the goalmouth. A minute later, the same culprits each got a shot to add another on the board, Carr’s shot being blocked, the ball ending up on Van der Sluij’s foot, and sailing wide of Matt Hunsberger’s goal.

Sophomore midfielder Connor Jobe, subbed in in the 31st minute, later registered a shot on goal, once again being saved by the Storm’s goalkeeper. The score remained 1-nil as the game reached halftime.

It didn’t take long for the Green and White to try to even the score out of the intermission, as Mohsen Kanani headed a shot 23 seconds into the period, only to be kept out. Two set-piece corner kicks a few minutes afterwards failed to get anything going for The Rock.

A few minutes after a pair of earlier SRU shots were too tall for the net, Lake Erie put two goals between themselves and the Rock with another assisted score. Slippery Rock’s Hayden Seifert would shorten the deficit in the 72nd minute with the team’s first goal of the season, but his team would only be able to manage one more shot at an equalizer in the remaining minutes.

The loss was the second straight for Slippery Rock, who has began 0-2-0 only twice in the past decade. They will look to rebound and get into the win column against Salem International at home on Tuesday afternoon.

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Men’s soccer falls in close home-opener