The Slippery Rock University men’s soccer team (1-1-1) opened its in-league play Wednesday afternoon, hosting Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference newbie Shepherd University (1-3-0), who it last encountered in 2013.
The Green and White would overpower the Rams, 7-0, scoring five goals in the first half alone. The effort was SRU’s highest offensive output since 2015.
Slippery Rock would pin four markers to the scoreboard before the Rams could even manage their first shot in the 42nd minute.
SRU’s Sean Tinney, a junior forward, got out to a very quick start, registering a pair of shots in the contest’s first two-and-a-half minutes, the first of which came a mere 13 seconds into the game. It was Tinney who assisted on his team’s first goal of the game, connecting with senior forward Luke Picchi in the ninth minute.
Two minutes later, first-year midfielders Alejandro Fernandez, a freshman from Spain, and junior Ale Okuma linked together on a crosser to put the Rock up by a pair. The goal was Fernandez’ first in a green and white kit and the assist was Okuma’s second of the campaign.
In the 14th minute, sophomore midfielder Abdallah Bangura buried his first score of 2019, aided by a feed from Tinney.
The home team would pepper another seven shots at SU goalkeeper Jose Machado-Orellana in the next 20 minutes and Bangura would top his goal total from last season in a matter of one half by converting a penalty kick.
Following senior goalkeeper Matt Hunsberger’s lone save of the day, freshman forward Ramses Minaya scored the first goal of his collegiate career, also a penalty kick.
Although a weather delay would push back the start of the second period almost two hours, the Rock attack was unaffected.
Fernandez reeled off three consecutive shots in 49th minute, the last one slipping by Shepherd goalie Billy Wood. Sophomore midfielder Nick Iagnemma closed out the scoring in the 70th minute.
It was the second time in as many games that Shepherd conceded seven goals.
In relief of Hunsberger, backup goalkeeper Derek Hoffman made his second appearance for SRU, making four saves to preserve the shutout.
Slippery Rock will travel to Walsh University for a non-conference matchup Saturday at 7:30 p.m.