Soccer teams open PSAC tournament with wins


Timothy Corso, Staff Writer

Layton Bingham picked a most opportune time to score his first goal of the season Tuesday.

Bingham’s late goal helped the 19th-ranked Gannon University men’s soccer team open Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament action with a 2-1 victory over Seton Hill at McConnell Family Stadium.

On the women’s side, Gannon also prevailed, beating visiting Slippery Rock, 5-3, in a quarterfinal game to earn a semifinal berth against the winner of Tuesday’s Kutztown-Millersville game. Friday’s game will be played either at Kutztown – ranked No. 3 in Division II and the top seed in the PSAC East — or Millersville.

On the men’s side, Bingham headed home Toby Gower’s long free kick in the game’s 78th minute to snap a 1-1 tie and move the No. 2 seed Knights into Friday’s 4:30 p.m. semifinal match against Lock Haven. The game will be played at Mercyhurst, which finished first in the PSAC West regular season and is the tournament host.

The winner of Friday’s match will advance to the tournament championship match Sunday at Mercyhurst.

Seton Hill, which finished 9-8-2, opened the scoring with a goal by Wilfred Munn in the 10th minute of play. But Gower pulled the Knights – now 15-2-2 overall – even with a goal off an assist from Magnus Clausen a little more than a minute later. Gower’s goal also was his first of the season.

Gannon dominated play throughout, holding a 20-7 advantage in shots, six of which were on goal, and the Knights added seven corner kicks to none for Seton Hill.

Gannon goalkeeper Maximiliano Rocco had just one save, but it was a big one as he stopped a point-blank shot in the 62nd minute, and teammate Bautista Corti deflected a follow-up shot that Rocco ultimately cleared from the box.

Tuesday’s women’s game was a rematch of Saturday’s regular-season finale, which wound up in a 0-0 double-overtime tie. Goals were not as hard to come by Tuesday, however.

The Knights jumped to a 1-0 lead a little over three minutes into the game as Taylor Lewis put one past Slippery Rock goalkeeper Emma Yoder.

But The Rock came back to tie the score at 1-1 in the game’s fifth minute, with Minda Jordyn converting a corner kick from Katy Ericson.

Gannon snapped the 1-1 tie 10 minutes later when Megan McCartney converted a penalty kick, and Kayla Bevacqua made it 3-1 when she scored in the game’s 28th minute, getting an assist from Lewis.

Lewis set up the Knights’ next goal as well, assisting on a shot by Sarah Falls that found the upper left part of the net at the 51:53 mark, making it 4-1.

Falls added her second goal of the game 15 minutes later, this time getting an assist from Bevacqua to increase the lead to 5-1.

Slippery Rock trimmed that lead to 5-2 less than a minute later when George Nagucki got one past Gannon goalkeeper Kennedy Solymosi.

The Gannon men finished regular-season play Saturday with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over visiting Slippery Rock.

Sophomore Charlie Petersen was the deciding factor as he netted an absolute rocket of a shot from 35 yards out in the 34th minute of the first half.

Petersen was assisted by redshirt junior Sergio Del Castillo.

Del Castillo scored a few minutes earlier in the match to answer back a third-minute Slippery Rock goal by freshman Joey Moeller.

Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper David Syntelien got the start for Gannon over Rocco since Rocco was booked the prior match.

Syntelien recorded three saves for Gannon in the winning effort.

The Knights outshot Slippery Rock 17-7 and had four more corner kicks than The Rock (6-2).

On the women’s side, Gannon’s scoreless tie with Slippery Rock enabled the Knights to lock up second place in the PSAC West.

Gannon got off to a fast start, pushing The Rock’s limits as it forced nine shots and five corner kicks within the first 22 minutes of the match.

Slippery Rock held its ground with a bend-but-don’t-break mentality and kept the game scoreless.

Gannon defender junior Leah Bermudez got a red card in the 39th minute of the half, giving Slippery Rock all the momentum.

However, the Knights didn’t let that be a factor and went into the break scoreless.

The next 65 minutes of the match were much of the same for both squads as neither team could break the scoreless tie.

The Knights outshot The Rock 25-11 and held the edge in corner kicks 8-6.