Men’s Soccer plays last road non-conference games; shift focus to Madonna University and River State Conference play

Written By Antonio Rossetti, Co-Sports Editor

The Point Park Men’s soccer team had their final road conference game, taking on the Lourdes University Gray Wolves in Sylvania, Ohio.

The Pioneers came into the matchup after the Blue Devil Classic in Southfield, Michigan. Point Park played two games and split, winning the first game against Lawrence Technological University 2-0 and then losing their second against Taylor University 1-0.

In their second game, they lost after Taylor University notched a goal in the final minute of the game.

Point Park looked to regain momentum against the Gray Wolves. The Pioneers were 1-4 heading into their game against Lourdes.

Lourdes entered their home matchup with a 1-4-1 record. The Gray Wolves have also lost their fairshare of tight games in non-conference play.

13 seconds into the game, Lourdes had an early fastbreak in which junior Diego Perierra buried a goal from the top left corner of the box, giving the Gray Wolves an early 1-0 lead. Sophomore Daniel Mirlach assisted Perierra’s goal.

Despite the slow start, the Pioneers kept the Gray Wolves from extending their lead. Point Park didn’t tally many shots in the first half, but they controlled the ball.

36:29 minutes in, sophomore Moritz Sarfert tied the game up on a shot that was assisted by junior Matheus Lima. The Pioneers gained momentum going into halftime.

In the second half, the Pioneers generated more scoring opportunities, putting 5 shots on net. Nonetheless, Lourdes had opportunities on their own.

In the 60th minute, the Gray Wolves took the lead after sophomore Jonas Kreutzburg scored from the far post from the right side.

The Kreutzburg goal gave Lourdes a 2-1 lead and this would be enough as Lourdes went on to win 2-1.

The Pioneers drop to 1-5 after the loss, but the Pioneers have kept all 6 of their games within a 2 goal difference.

Senior forward Seth Schleicher believes that the team not getting the first goal puts them at an early disadvantage.

“We haven’t really gotten our feet under us right away when the game starts and, I don’t know what the stats are, but we have a lot more games where we just gave up the first goal,” Schleicher said. “We’re already on the back foot, but we have a really talented team with a lot of new guys, so it takes a whole for everybody to figure out how to play together.”

Despite the close loss, Schleicher sees a talented ball club that needs more chemistry with new offensive system, the new players and the new coach, Cameron Williams.

He also sees that the Pioneers also have a plenitude of strengths as well.

“I think possession-wise we’ve been really good,” Schleicher said. “We have a lot of quality. I think defensively we’re a very strong team and our formations are a little different than a regular formation of soccer.”

Schleicher also thinks that the team is very solid defensively, not just in the back end, but cumulatively as a team.

The Pioneers look forward to wrapping up conference play against Madonna University. Point Park aims to tally the first goal of the contest.

Point Park brings forth a lineup with a lot of new players with freshman and graduate transfers, along with a lot of experienced players. Schleicher sees senior leadership as being important, but he and the seniors are more focused on building team chemistry with the new players and building friendships throughout the year.

“We always enjoy playing with each other and we’ve kept it really just light-hearted and fun,” said Schleicher. “One of my better friends is a freshman (Tyler Wellman) this year and just a personal example, he’ll look to me for any questions like “what time is practice,” or if he needs a ride back to campus, but on the field, we keep it fun and light-hearted.”

The Pioneers are now turning their eyes towards River States Conference (RSC) play. The Pioneers have a keen focus on starting conference play strong and they see their next game as one more test and preparation before their conference opener against Carlow.

“It gets real,” Schleicher said about RSC games. “I think intensity will definitely up. Not that we aren’t playing intense now, but conference games, it’s a different type of importance, especially like essay with an older group, where we feel like we have like this last chance to win something. I think we’re gonna be very determined.”

The Pioneers are excited to begin conference play and the team is focused on building up their bond as a team.

“Getting that chemistry. Getting that experience and gameplay, that’s what’s gonna help and the intensity of practice as well,” Schleicher said. “And I think we’re doing that.”