On Oct. 29, The Rock men’s soccer faced Mercyhurst, an established powerhouse team ranked number two, and could not come out with a win. This experience was shared by every single other one of Mercyhurst’s opponents this year.
It was Slippery Rock’s senior day. Before the game, SRU’s Hossam Aly, Harry Griffin, Samuel Hillman, Derek Hoffman, Nathan Kortyna, Ramses Minaya, Alex Plimmer, and Deon Waldmeier were honored for their achievements within the program over the past few seasons.
Mercyhurst was in control for much of the 90 minutes. Mercyhurst’s Nic Munch started the scoring just under 25 minutes in by sinking a shot with no assist. He didn’t stop there. Munch went on to assist Julius Becker around 45 minutes into the game to make the score 2-0. From there, Mercyhurst’s men found the back of the net two more times to finish out the game 4-0.
This game ended the Green and White’s season. Several close games throughout the season that The Rock couldn’t quite finish off contributed to a disappointing 5-10-2 record. The team showed plenty of flashes of being a squad worthy of a better record. They just didn’t seem to have enough time to put it together.
The game wasn’t without any upsides for Slippery Rock’s boys. Sophomore forward Arturo Pla Hernandis logged two shots as he looks to grow into a bigger role on the offense. Senior goalie Hossam Aly logged four saves, a feat that he accomplished 13 times this season.
The Rock also bore down defensively for much of the second half, denying five of Mercyhurst’s shots and defending three corner kicks throughout a half-hour span.
In their previous matchup this season on September 30th, Mercyhurst came out on top as well. As a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West rival, the teams will meet again next year. The Rock looks to go into these games with a refreshed mindset and motivation to overturn the 2023 season series.
Looking forward to 2023, Slippery Rock men’s soccer hopes to return some key players and reverse the trend of close losses into coming out on top in tight games to make another PSAC playoff appearance.