All in With Allison – Early success fueled by foreign powers

Written By Allison Schubert, Sports Columnist

The men’s soccer team has had a lot of success so far this season, with River States Conference (RSC) play just ahead.

They opened their season in Greenville to take on Thiel College and had a dominating start to the year with a 5-1 win.

The Pioneers then hosted Penn State Beaver for their home opener, again boasting their talent with a 4-0 win.

Their first loss of the season came in the form of a 3-1 defeat to Huntington University as their first game of the Lawrence Tech University (LTU) Blue Devil Classic. They went on to win their second game of the tournament 2-1 against the Calumet College of St. Joseph and ultimately placed third overall.

The Pioneers then suffered a close loss to the University of Pikeville 2-1 before returning to Highmark Stadium, but this time as the away team. They rebounded from their most recent loss to flaunt their depth, and shutout Penn State Greater Allegheny 5-0.

All of these games thus far have resulted in a 4-2 record, with RSC play opening on Thursday at Brescia University. The Pioneers currently sit fourth among the RSC standings, a comfortable place to be before conference play actually starts.

Over the course of the six games played so far, the Pioneers have tallied 18 total goals.

Point Park boasts a roster of 26 players on their varsity team, but only seven of them are from the United States. Out of the 18 goals scored so far, only two have been from those U.S.-born players.

The Pioneers include talent from 13 different countries other than the U.S., including England, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Jamaica, Uzbekistan, Spain, Colombia, Tanzania, Venezuela, Greece and head coach Jeroen Walstra’s home country of the Netherlands.

One name that stands out among these foreign players is Netherlands native Geert Bijl. While most players will score a goal here or there, Bijl already has five goals to his name in six games, over double of anyone else on the roster.

Three more Dutch players grace Point Park’s roster, including freshman forward Abel van Beest and sophomore midfielder Kay In’t Ven, who have each tallied two goals apiece; and junior midfielder Wessel Rietveld, who suffered a season-ending injury against Thiel in the season opener.

The foreign powers of the men’s soccer team have led them to early success thus far, and I am excited to see where it will take them when RSC play starts on Thursday.