Men’s soccer go to tie Washington Adventist, defeat Grove City to jump to 4-6-1

Have yet to lose since Sept. 17, look to take on RSC Midway and IU East this week

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

The Men’s soccer team continued their 2023 season last week, where they took on Washington Adventist University at home on Wednesday, Sept. 28, and Grove City College on the road on Saturday, Oct. 1.

The Pioneers would walk away with a 3-3 draw against WAU, and a come from behind victory, 4-2, against Grove City. The results helped raise the Pioneers record to 4-6-1; good enough for third in the River State Conference (RSC). 

“We have a strong group, we just needed to have more confidence in ourselves,” said sophomore middle Lucas Souza. “We had two games that we started losing by 2 goals, and we came back, so it just makes us feel proud and willing to give 100% every single game.”

Game one was a back and forth contest between the Pioneers and Shock at Highmark Stadium. The Shock would generate their offense quickly in the match, being able to find the back of the net quickly in the 5th minute to make it 1-0.

WAU would find their second quickly after, putting through another in the 18th minute on a lob to the net, putting Point Park in a hole quickly at 2-0. The Pioneers would not stay down though, clawing their way back with a cross in the 39th minute, to make it 2-1.

Less than two minutes later, the Pioneers would strike again, scoring on a rebound to make it 2-2 in the 40th minute in the offensive showing by both teams. The second half would see Point Park score their third unanswered goal in the 57th minute, with another crossing goal to give the Pioneers a 3-2 lead.

Unfortunately, the Shock would mount their own comeback late in the game, when in the 83rd minute, WAU was awarded a free kick, which they were able to capitalize on to make it 3-3. 

Senior middle Philipp Harder would lead the Pioneers’ offense, with two shots (both on goal) and a goal to his name.Senior middle Jaime Rodriguez and sophomore forward Mortiz Sarfert would collect the other two goals in the contest. Point Park would record eight shots, with seven landing on net, just behind WAU with 11 shots, but keeping the shock offense down by only allowing six on net. 

Game two would be another comeback for the Pioneers, as Grove City would hop out to an early lead with a goal in the 12th minute to put the Wolverines ahead 1-0. In the 30th minute, GCC would find their second of the game to make it 2-0. That would be all of the scoring in the first half, but with the second half commencing, the Pioneer offense erupted. In the first two minutes of the second half, in the 47th minute, Sarfert would find goal number one of the night, making 2-1 to start off the half. 

Harder continued his offensive showing this week, scoring goal’s number two and three, in the 56th and 70th minute respectively, to give Point Park the lead. Sarfert would then give the Pioneers some insurance in the 78th minute, knocking through his second of the match to make it 4-2, which would be the final score between the two sides. 

“Things started to feel more natural, even with the score down by two,” said Souza. “Our team started to play simpler as coach asked us to. The movements, the runs, the plays started to show up, and we started a “natural way” to score goals. We just were calm and knew what to do.” 

Harder and Sarfert would both lead the team in shots, shots on goal, and goals in the contest with two each. In a split showing in net, senior goalkeeper Max Davila would start the first half of the contest, before freshman goalkeeper Eduard Garcia would come in for the second half and shut down the Wolverines offense. Both would record a single save.

In a low offensive effort, Point Park would only be able to muster seven shots in the game, but took advantage of the five shots on net by putting away four of them. Grove City would only be able to pull off five shots, with four landing on net. Both sides would attempt a Penalty Kick and score on them, with Harder scoring for Point Park. 

The Pioneers will return to Pittsburgh this week with a duo of home games at Highmark Stadium once again, with seven matches left in their regular season. Point Park will take on RSC rival Midway University on Thursday, Oct. 6, before facing off in yet another RSC match up against Indiana University-East on Saturday, Oct. 8. Both of these teams are winless in conference play this year, while Point Park is currently undefeated. All home games will continue to be streamed on Point Park Athletics’ website.