Men’s soccer nets a win, experiences late game theatrics

Written By Josh Croup

Last Thursday, the Point Park men’s soccer team was seconds away from a scoreless tie against Maygrove (Mich.) when sophomore forward Alan Ramos scored the game-winning goal in the final minute of double overtime.

Saturday, Point Park was seconds away from a 1-0 victory over Mt. Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) when the Cougar’s Josh Alexander got free and put a ball past Point Park senior goalkeeper Zak Borzovoy to tie the game and force overtime. Neither team scored in the first or second overtime, resulting in a 1-1 draw.

The draw put the Pioneers at 3-2-1, ending the week.

Ramos’ goal in overtime was not his last of the week. After scoring the game-winning goal, Ramos earned a starting spot for Saturday’s game against Mt. Vernon Nazzarene.

At the 11:54 mark in the first half, Ramos intercepted a pass back to the goalie and scored on a sliding shot. The San Antonio, Texas native almost scored the game-winner in consecutive games, but the Cougars’ late goal prevented that.

“Of course, I was happy to score the goal again,” said Ramos. “Sadly, it didn’t win us the game. It’s all about winning the game.”

The Pioneers had multiple chances to pad their lead, including a pair of goals in the first half that didn’t count because of offside calls; they struggled to put goals on the board. It was the fourth straight game in which Point Park scored only one goal.

There was a steady rain at Highmark Stadium for a majority of the game. Regardless, Borzovoy wants to see his team score more.

“We struggled to find the back of the net,” said Borzovoy. “I think that there was difficult weather, but we should really be converting more chances,”

Head coach Jeroen Walstra was satisfied with his team’s performance despite the outcome.

“We played fine,” said Walstra. “We moved the ball alright. This is a good team that we played against. We had chances, we defended alright, we kept the pace okay. I thought a lot of the stuff was perfectly fine.”

The game-winning goal came with only 21 seconds left in regulation. It was the difference between Point Park leaving with a 4-2 record and a 3-2-1 record.

Borzovoy said the team was happy with its performance up until the last minute goal when it seemed like everything broke down. Mt. Vernon was able to create a scoring opportunity and connected just in time.

“They just got a lucky break really with that goal,” Borzovoy said. “We didn’t feel like it really reflected the flow of the game because we felt like we were on top. We felt like we had things under control. It just goes to show that just a momentary lack of focus can cost you.”

Walstra stated his team faltered towards the end of the game.

“What we didn’t do is close out the game correctly,” Walstra said. “Taking the ball to the other side of the field and holding it there and playing the clock — sometimes we did, but not all the time. Just young, I guess.”

Ramos said the last minute goal came as a disappointment, but sometimes things like that happen. 

“We just couldn’t believe it,” Ramos said. “We tried to hold them off, but sometimes you just don’t get the win.”

Point Park opens conference play at Rio Grande (Oh.) Saturday afternoon when they take on the reigning conference champions. Rio Grande is the preseason favorites to win the conference and ranked fifth in the national preseason Top 25 coaches’ poll. Point Park upset Rio Grande last fall when the Red Storm were ranked seventh in the nation. Rio Grande then defeated Point Park in the conference championship.

Walstra, even though Point Park didn’t end the week with a win, was happy with how they played. He said the team just needs to close out games.

“I mean, you’re up ahead 1-0 until 21 seconds from the end, so that’s good,” Walstra said. “It’s alright. Again, we need to close out the game and play the clock a little bit at the end of the game.”