In a nail-biting finish, the Gannon University men’s soccer team rallied together to overcome a 2-0 deficit against PSAC rival Bloomsburg and pull out a 2-2 tie Friday on the road.
Continuing the momentum of the exciting finish, the Knights continued their success with a 2-1 win against West Chester Saturday.
In Friday’s game against Bloomsburg, the team fell behind by an early free-kick goal by Josh Smith in the 11th minute of regulation. The defense flaked and allowed Smith to have the opportunity to attempt a free kick, an attempt in which he was successful to put Bloomsburg up 1-0.
Following the early goal, Bloomsburg and Gannon played an even game with not much ac
ion and stellar defensive play between the two teams. The Knights held the majority of the shots during the game with 26, compared to Bloomsburg’s 12.
Eventually, the Bloomsburg attack cracked through the Gannon defense in the 79th minute by a goal from forward Clay Newton, who connected on an outlet pass from Austin Transue. The goal gave the Huskies a strong reason to believe they had the game under wraps, with a 2-0 lead late in the game.
However, the Knights’ senior veterans rallied and put the team on the board with a goal from senior Hamza Mourchid in the 83rd minute off an assist from Erie native and junior midfielder Joshua Ott. After 83 minutes, the Knights were on the scoreboard, trailing 2-1.
The time remaining in the conference matchup was quickly winding down to the final few seconds, but Mourchid wasn’t ready to give up just yet. Mourchid equalized the match with a touch kick that landed past the defense, into the net.
The senior aided the team and carried the Knights from having their second loss of the season, and instead, having their first tie with the final being 2-2.
Gannon wasn’t done making headlines and rallying back from deficits. The following day the Knights had another battle against the then-undefeated conference opponent West Chester Golden Rams.
Early in the match, the defense let Tim French get behind them and put the Golden Rams on the board first for an early 1-0 win.
However, this game, the Knights didn’t wait to respond. Junior midfielder Sergio Kobowane put Gannon on the board with his second goal of the season at the midpoint of the first half.
The Knights continually pounded the West Chester defense by challenging it with shot after shot. Gannon outshot its opponent once again, with 23 shots to four from West Chester.
Eventually, the Knights connected again with another goal, a goal that would eventually be called the game-winner. Freshman forward Mathias Krigbaum welcomed himself into the stat sheet by nailing the ball past the West Chester goalie minutes after halftime. The Knights were up 2-1, which was the final score.
On Monday, Gannon won it’s third game in a row 8-1 against Daemen.
In three minutes Mourchid was able to score two goals landing him the spot as NCAA Division II leading scorer on the season and giving Gannon the lead at 2-0.
Twenty-one minutes later Mourchid scored his third goalgiving the Knights a 3-0 edge. Freshman Alex Schroeck chimed in wit ha goal in the 65th minute making the score 4-0.
Daemen responded in the 74th minute when Colin Edwards snuck one through the wickets. Krigbaum responded with a goal of his own 27 seconds later.
Sophomore E. de Bonis Encinoso capped the scoring with two goals giving Gannon the 8-1 victory.
Gannon handed West Chester its first loss of the season. AS of. Monday the Knights had an overall record of 3-1-1, with a conference record of 1-0-1.
Coach Dale White is confident in the team going forward after these three wins.
“Tuesday the team scored 8 goals, which was good, and on Saturday we came from behind to win an important conference game,” he said. “Both these games should give us some confidence to keep on developing through the season.”
Up next, Gannon squares off with the Eagles of Lock Haven in a home match starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at McConnell Family Stadium.