Men’s soccer falls in final two games of regular season, end with 7-9-1 record

Written By Antonio Rossetti, Co-Sports Editor

The Pioneers ended their season after playing two home games against Indiana University East Red Wolves (IU East) and St. Mary of the Woods College Pomeroys. The games took place on October 28 and October 30.

Point Park returned home after a five-game road trip, winning three out of their last five games. In their last game of the roadstand, the Pioneers defeated the Midway University Eagles, 6-2. The team was led by senior Ivai Warella, who scored four unanswered goals. This was Warella’s first four-goal game since 2019 when he was at Parkland College in Illinois. Warella’s play earned him River States Conference (RSC) offensive player of the week. The senior forward now has 14 goals on the season.

“When I stop on the pitch, it’s important that I have to give my best to give myself 100% and basically outwork everyone else,” Warella said. “I don’t focus on the awards. I like it when you get voted, but the main focus should be on yourself, and then all the rest will come by itself.”

Although Warella was delighted that he won the award, he said he was more ecstatic that the team won the game and that their seven hour trip home was following a win over a conference rival.

This win puts them at 7-7-1 before their game against the IU East Red Wolves.

Point Park vs. IU East

Point Park approached the game with a 3-4 conference record and was right on the outside of the RSC playoff picture.

IU East came into the game 3-11-1 with a 3-4 conference record. Despite taking 11 games to win their first game of the season, the Red Wolves won three of their last four games.

Although the Red Wolves came into the game with a two game winning streak, the Pioneers looked to neutralize IU East. This time returning home, the Pioneers played under the lights at Highmark Stadium, the home of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Playing at Highmark Stadium was a special experience for senior forward Seth Schleicher.

“It’s awesome to play at Highmark. There’s really not much like it. Obviously, practicing there is great, but when we have games, especially night games at Highmark, it’s fantastic,” said Schleicher who transferred last season from Robert Morris University. “Montour Junction obviously is the second choice, but it is a quality field as well. Doesn’t have the aura that Highmark has but it is a good field still. We are spoiled with Highmark.”

The Pioneers started the game off strong, having the first two shots on goal. Point Park’s defense established themselves early, preventing the Red Wolves from a shot on goal for over 21 minutes.

Nevertheless, IU East’s first shot of the game was a goal, taking the lead 1-0. The Red Wolves caught a break on a bounce goal scored by sophomore Callum Coleman, which was assisted by senior Brian Alvarez.

Point Park would outshoot the Red Wolves 8 to 7 in the first half, but the Pioneers trailed 1-0.

In the second half, the offense created more chances, having four corner kicks, which was three more than the first half.

In the 76:21 mark in the game, the Pioneers had three late scoring chances. Both freshman Moritz Sarfert and sophomore Mats Douma had shots on goal but were denied by Red Wolves junior goalkeeper Alex Visscher. Junior Rafael Murube would have one more shot on goal at the 80:55 mark, but the effort was unsuccessful. The IU East Red Wolves went on to win 1-0.

The Pioneers outshot the Red Wolves 18 to 13 and also had 9 shots on goal compared to the IU East’s six. Nevertheless, the Pioneers fell to 7-8-1 on the season.

“Looking at the game, I think we all worked and everybody gave their all, but in the end, you’re losing because of small details,” Warella said. “You know, it’s just their goal. It was a bounce goal, and he got in the net a couple of times. We needed to be luckier.”

Point Park vs. St. Mary-of-the-Woods College

Point Park’s final opponent of the season was St. Mary-of-the-Woods College Pomeroys at Montour Junction Sports Complex.

The Pomeroys come into the matchup winning their last game against the Carlow University Celtics, 9-2. St. Mary of the Woods has a record of 8-4-2 and a conference record of 5-3-1.
The Pioneers started off strong once again. The team had five shots within the first 30 minutes, including two on goal, which was both saved by Pomeroy’s sophomore goalkeeper Luis Lopez.

Nearing the end of the first half, the Pioneers scored their first game with a goal from Moritz Sarfert, assisted by Seth Schleicher. This goal was at the 44:43 minute mark, and the Pioneers went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.

In the first half, the Pioneers outshot the Pomeroys 9 to 4 and also prevented St. Mary-of-the-Woods College from having a shot on net.

In the second half, the Pioneers had a barrage of shots against the Pomeroys. At the 45:20 minute mark, Schleicher had a shot on goal, which was saved. Point Park would miss the mark on a shot by freshman Isaac Hunter wide right. St. Mary-of-the-Woods would also block a shot from junior Jaime Rodriguez.

Point Park’s defense would continue to prevail, until the Pomeroys had their first shot on goal. At the 68:24 minute mark, the shot would also be the team’s first goal, which was scored by sophomore Juan Parra.

The Pioneers had a variety of chances down the stretch, but the game would go into overtime.

In overtime, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College had a few chances early. However, they were unsuccessful.

At the 94:34 mark, Jaime Rodriguez had a shot that was wide right. This was the Pioneers only scoring chance in overtime.

At the 96:26 minute mark, Pomeroys junior Luis Botello scored a goal assisted by freshman Victor Alves. The Pioneers lost the game 2-1.

The Pioneers had 18 shots compared to the Pomeroys 13. Point Park also had seven shots on goal, compared to St. Mary-of-the-Woods’ 3.

The Pioneers would finish with a 7-9-1 record. The team finished seventh in the RSC, missing the playoffs by one rank.

Despite missing the playoffs, the team came together and won some important games this year. The team had new faces and many transfers still acclimating to the new landscape. They may have missed the playoffs, but the experience and bond the players had was worth the while.

“Yeah, you know, and that’s the thing I love about sports is how everyone can come together and have this combined goal and is to win and have fun.” Warella said. “I always say sports is a universal language.Whatever color and whatever ethnicity, you come together. You have a common goal and you work for it. You’re like brothers in a team and that, isn’t that the most beautiful thing in life?”

Point Park may have fallen short, but, for the players returning, the Pioneers look to improve and bounce back next season.