Men’s Soccer loses 1-0 at home

Written By Michael Richter

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photo courtesy of Point Park Athletics
Senior Dominic Canello plays defense against Grove City at Highmark Stadium on Sept. 22. The Pioneers lost 1-0.

Point Park men’s soccer lost to Grove City 1-0 at home on Sept. 22, dropping the team’s overall record to 4-4-1.

“We didn’t capitalize on the opportunities we had in the first half,” said Pioneers forward Alan Ramos. “We could’ve had a couple goals, and in the second half. A lot of our players just simply got tired and couldn’t bounce back.”

The loss marks the Pioneers’ first loss at home this season, and is also the squad’s second straight game in which they failed to score a goal.

Point Park and Grove City were deadlocked in a scoreless tie for the first hour of game time. At 62:38, Wolverines midfielder Blake Baer passed the ball to his fellow teammate Jon Burton, who scored a goal on a shot from the six yard line and gave his team a lead they preserved throughout the remainder of the game.

The Pioneers recorded 10 shots during the game — five of which were on goal — but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities.

“We had chances,” said Point Park defenseman Paul Carr. “We just didn’t take them.”

Point Park has not scored since the first half of its game at Penn State-Beaver on Sept. 14, which equates to five straight halves without generating a goal.

“I don’t think we are having a drought,” Ramos said. “It’s just been the last couple of games where we can’t seem to finish.”

According to Carr, the Pioneers’ strikers must step up and score more goals.

“Scoring becomes a habit you get used to,” Carr said. “We need one of our strikers to take charge and start scoring on a regular basis."

Their current goal scarcity has caused the team to lose some confidence momentarily, but the Pioneers are a tightly knit group who support one another.

“Everyone has confidence in each other, and we are still looking to get back to playing the way we know how to [in order to be successful],” Ramos said.

If they start winning again, their morale will go up. The Pioneers have an optimistic attitude about their discouraging status.

“Maybe our confidence is a little low at the moment, but a couple of wins on the bounce, and we will be sky high again,” Carr said.

Point Park’s next game is against Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) foe West Virginia Tech, which is 7-0. It is second in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in goals scored per game with an average of five. The undefeated team’s last game concluded in a 10-0 victory.

Carr said the Pioneers have a tough task in facing West Virginia Tech, and they must garner an early lead if they are going to hand the Golden Bears their first loss of the season.

“If we get a goal in front, we need to start killing games off and being smarter when we have possession of the ball,” Carr said. “It will be a close game. Hopefully, we can come out on top.”

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