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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

Eagle men’s soccer struggles in recent road conference games

The Eagles struggled to find momentum against the Trojans and Panthers
Gabby Diehl
Eagle midfielder Oliver Lovell receives a pass against the Malone Pioneers.

The Ashland University men’s soccer team has battled through injuries and adversity to start the 2023-24 fall season. After taking down the Walsh Cavaliers in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) opener at home, they went on the road and tied the Malone Pioneers last weekend.

However, when traveling down south to take on Trevecca Nazarene University and Kentucky Wesleyan this week, the Eagles were no match for either side as they were downed 2-1 by the Trojans and tied the Panthers, 2-2.

On Wednesday, Sept. 2o, the Eagles took on the Trojans to kick off their spell on the road.

In the first half of play, both sides battled back and forth as the shot count favored the Eagles by just one, 6-5. Both teams’ starting goalkeeper made three saves a piece in the first half, while the corner kick counter was drastically in favor of the Eagles, 5-1.

The Eagles were led by forward Vander Rocha, who continued to put pressure onto the Trojan defense, knocking three shots with one going on goal.

Heading into halftime, even with both teams showcasing aggression on offense, neither were able to find a first half goal.

In the second half of play, the scoreline was opened up with forward Oliver Whaley for the Eagles. He was able to find the back of the net in the 46th minute, while being assisted by midfielder Oliver Lovell.

However, while it looked like the Eagles were in the drivers seat, that would not be the case as the Trojans bounced right back.

In the 61st minute the Trojans knotted the game back up at one a piece, before finding the go-ahead goal in the 71st minute. The Eagles would have no response for the final goal, ultimately falling 2-1. Outside of Whaley, Rocha and Lovell, the Eagles had little production from the remainder of the team.

After falling to the Trojans, the Eagles would move to 1-5-1 on the season and 1-1-1 in conference play.

Heading into the teams contest against the Panthers just three days later, the Eagles were looking to head back to Ferguson Field with a win under their belt.

To begin the first half of play, the Eagles sputtered on offense and defense. In the 12th minute, the Panthers would find the opening goal as forward Santiago Henrich slotted the ball past Eagle goalkeeper Zach Harrison.

With a 1-0 lead, the Panther defense sat back with confidence for the next 18 minutes until the Eagles would respond.

Eagle forward Pedro Faria would find his second goal of the season, bringing the contest back to a level state. The remainder of the first half would show small breaks for both teams, but neither would capitalize on them with a goal.

Heading into half number two, the two sides were looking to walk away with a three points with a win instead of just one with the draw.

The next goal of the game came in the 62nd minute as Panther midfielder Matteo Napoletano slotted the ball swiftly past Harrison and into the back netting after getting a clean pass from counterpart Haakon Torvbraaten. With the scoreline favoring the Panthers, 2-1, the Eagles needed a response.

That response would arrive 16 minutes later in the 78th minute as midfielder Rodrigo Fernandez found his second goal of the season for the Eagles, bringing the contest to a 2-2 scoreline.

The two sides would fight until the final whistle with five more shots being taken between both teams, yet none found their way into the back of the net.

The Panthers and Eagles finished the outing with draw, giving one point to either side in GMAC play.

The Eagles now look to return home with a 1-5-2 record to take on the Ohio Dominican Panthers. The two sides will go toe-to-toe at Ferguson Field on Wednesday, Sept. 27 with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m.

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