Men’s soccer team finishes 1-2 after weekend road matchups


Photo by Megan Bixler

Junior Yuki Takeda defends in a 2017 matchup. The men’s team dropped 2 out of 3 games last weekend and now have a 3-2 record.

Written By Dara Collins, Co-Sports Editor

The men’s soccer team loaded the buses last Friday to begin their weekend of road contests. The Pioneers’ first stop was the Lawrence Tech (Mich.) University Blue Devil Classic.

Point Park opened the weekend with a non-conference matchup against Huntington (Ind.) University. The Foresters scored in the 15th minute only for the Pioneers’ Mitchell Roell to answer with his own in the 19th, tying the game at the half. This was Roell’s first goal of the season.

The Pioneers failed to hold off the Huntington offense, and two Foresters scored goals within 56 seconds of each other in the 57th and 58th minutes. Point Park goalkeeper Ryan Daniels made 11 saves out of 14 shots. Daniels took the blame for one of Huntington’s goals.

“One was definitely a defensive breakdown,” Daniels said. “One was absolutely my fault.”

Point Park returned to the action on Saturday to play a consolation game against Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.). Calumet, who has yet to win a game this season, scored first in the 20th minute. The Pioneers couldn’t head to the locker room at a 1-0 deficit, and junior forward Abdullah Aloufi scored in the 24th minute to tie the game before the half.

The Pioneers scored the only goal of the second half in the 54th minute. The game-winning goal came from freshman forward Abel van Beest with an assist from Aloufi.

The men found a groove in the final 45 minutes with ten of their 16 shots recorded during that time. Junior Juan Somoza stood in the net this game and tallied six saves.

“I feel like we just played better as a team that game,” Daniels said. “It was a little scrappy at first, but ultimately, we just played better overall. We didn’t get as many goals as we would have liked to, but I think it was a better team effort, and we played the whole 90 minutes.”

Point Park finished its weekend road trip at the University of Pikeville on Sunday afternoon. The momentum from Saturday’s win did not carry over to the final contest of the weekend as the Pioneers dropped the match 1-2.

Pikeville’s Eric Bernabue Domingo scored both goals for the Bears in the first half, one of which was a penalty kick awarded from a goalkeeper foul. Point Park’s Geert Bijl, a sophomore midfielder, found the net in the 84th minute, but the Pioneers started to strike late. Nine of Point Park’s 13 shots came from the second half.

“We played a decent team that just played a lot better than us that day,” Daniels said.

Senior midfielder Trenton Fowler hopes to work on game mentality for upcoming matches.

“We overestimated ourselves against the team and thought we were going to just kill them, and when we went down right off the bat, it put us in a mindset where we were just frustrated,” Fowler said. “I think working on our frustrations and your mentality even after conceding a goal, I think that plays a part in how we turn ourselves around.”

The Pioneers have a few more road matches ahead, including a contest this Wednesday against Penn State – Greater Allegheny. River States Conference play kicks off next Thursday at Brescia University.

“Ultimately I think the best thing for us to do is just buckle down and stay focused,” Daniels said. “Chemistry is a big thing because a lot of players haven’t figured out how to play well with each other…we have a lot of good players on our team. We just need to make it work.”