Thu. Jun 30th, 2022

The WCU men’s soccer team concluded its season on Saturday against ESU in a 1-0 loss, finishing with a 4-10-2 record (1-5-2 PSAC East). Before the season concluded, the Golden Rams played two non-league games against N.Y. Tech and Philadelphia University, splitting the two games.

Last Sunday in Central Islip, New York, the Golden Rams fell to N.Y. Tech in a non-league game 2-1.

The Golden Rams fell behind early. In the sixth minute, NYIT’s Farah Toure scored the first of his two goals on the day. It was his 13th on the season.

NYIT held the advantage in time of possession for much of the first half. NYIT nearly put another ball past junior goalkeeper Peter Weiss when an Andre Lee shot sailed high over the net.

In the 16th minute, NYIT’s Charles Paracat’s shot sailed high. Two minutes later, Weiss stopped a shot by Toure.

In the 20th minute, junior midfielder Zac Tassone’s shot was saved by NYIT’s goalkeeper Cosimo D’Agostino. In the 38th minute, West Chester’s Brett Synder put a ball on net but the shot was saved by D’Agostino.

N.Y. Tech continued to put pressure on the West Chester defense and Weiss until the end of the first half. Towards the end of the half, two NYIT headers were saved by Weiss and kept the game 1-0.

N.Y. Tech dominated offensively in the first half, outshooting the Golden Rams 10-2.

In the second half, freshman Garrett Bleiler relieved Weiss. In the 58th minute, senior striker Matt Aunet scored his second goal of the season as the Golden Rams tied it up 1-1.

In the 77th minute, Farah Toure scored his second goal of the game and gave his team a 2-1 lead. That goal would prove to be enough at to win the game.

The Golden Rams only got off two shots in the second half, finishing the game with four total. NYIT outshot the Golden Rams 19-4 overall.

On Wednesday, the team played their last home soccer game of the season, shutting out Philadelphia University 4-0. It was also the final home game for the seniors of the club that include Zach Weaver, Chris Ponto, Matt Aunet, J.J. DiFerdinando, Jason Mackel, Bryan Nugent, and Marc Michell. And, fittingly, the seniors took center stage.

Senior sweeper and team co-captain Zach Weaver put the team ahead 1-0 in the first half on a diving header that beat Phila. U’s keeper Emmauel Assengmbeng. It was the only goal of the first half. Chris Ponto recorded the assist. Weaver headed his direct kick from 25 yards out into the net.

In the second half, senior forward Bryan Nugent drove a rebound past Assengmbeng after Assengmbeng couldn’t control a Ryan Dicce shot. Nugent easily put the ball into the empty net.

In the 73rd minute, freshman forward/mid-fielder Josh Labik put a rebound off a shot from Jabari DeCoteau that nearly was prevented by two Philadelphia U defenders.

In the 85th minute, a Marc Michell throw-in found freshman Neil Gallagher and he headed the ball into the far corner

Garrett Bleiler earned the win in the game and made four saves in the game. Peter Weiss relieved him in the 53rd minute and made three saves.

In the season finale on Saturday, at ESU, the Golden Rams lost 1-0. The team played ESU close for the first 76 minutes of the game before ESU’s Jason Rudders scored in the 77th minute.

The Golden Rams were outshot 18-13 on the day but ESU only managed to get two of those shots on net. Peter Weiss started in net, made one save, and didn’t allow a goal before being relieved by Garrett Bleiler. Bleiler allowed the game’s only goal.

Overall, it was a frustrating season for the Golden Rams. The offense had difficulty developing consistency early in the season before exploding offensively in two non-league games against Lincoln and Univ. District of Columbia. The Golden Rams offense nearly rallied from a 3-0 deficit on Homecoming against California (Pa.) falling just short 3-2 in one of the most thrilling games of the season.

The defense was strong throughout the season keeping themselves in the games and never giving up anything easy to offenses.

But the team struggled in the PSAC East, winning just one game against Shippensburg earlier this month.

The future is promising for this soccer team though. Coach Walkes’ highly touted freshman class have a year of valuable experience. Freshmen Josh Labik, Taylor Eisenhauer, Neil Gallagher, Jake Maxwell, and Dan Roberts played great in the minutes they were given. Ricky Williamson, a stand-out player for the Golden Rams, will be back for his senior season. Talented players like Jabari DeCoteau and Zac Tassone will also be back.

The Golden Rams seem poised to return to prominence in the PSAC East.

Chris Monigle is a fifth-year student majoring in Literature. He can be reached at CM660983@wcupa.edu.

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