Men’s soccer evens record with win

After the Gannon University men’s soccer team managed a tie in a scoreless double-overtime game Friday against Ashland, the Knights earned a 2-0 victory against Urbana University Sunday afternoon at Gannon University Field.

Coach Rob Van Rheenen said the Knights did a good job of picking up the pace in the second half.

“The team played with some urgency later in the second half,” he said.

Both teams struggled to find any opportunities on offense, as the Knights extended their scoreless streak to 155 minutes. By the end of the first period, the game appeared to be taking on the same scoreless tone that Friday’s game had resulted in.

However, with 8 minutes, 54 seconds left in the second half, junior midfielder Adam Sharbaugh weaved his way behind the defense to score the game’s first goal. Sophomore forward Faycal Benjelloun found Sharbaugh just in front of the net, before Sharbaugh kicked the ball in the lower-right corner of the goal.

Just over two minutes later, junior midfielder Tyler Hollingsworth provided the Knights with some insurance, when he scored his second goal of the season.

Redshirt freshman defender Tyron Springer took freshman defender Marnix van der Donk’s corner kick, and advanced the ball to Sharbaugh, who headed it to Hollingsworth directly in front of the net.

Although his corner kick provided much of the game’s offense, van der Donk was quick to praise sophomore goalkeeper Jason Barbarino.

“He had some really great saves, especially in the first half,” van der Donk said. Barbarino took over the starting duties for redshirt junior Michael Kickel, and responded by making four saves in his first career win.

Both teams had chances in the early going, but were unable to convert.

At the 30-minute mark of the first half, Urbana’s Henrique Guitti’s shot sailed just wide and found the post, while Gannon junior midfielder Sean Washek’s free kick from 20 yards out in the beginning of the second half hit the top of the crossbar before falling out of play.

Freshman midfielder Saul Palte described the game as “a little scrappy at times but it was the goals that count.”

With the win, Gannon improved to 4-4-1, while Urbana dropped to 4-4.

Gannon will resume PSAC West play when it travels to California (Pa.) Wednesday to take on the Vulcans.

Van Rheenen said the Knights’ win over Urbana gives them a much-needed boost going into conference play.

“We need this momentum to carry us into the PSAC schedule,” he said. “We will need to play a more complete game than we did the past two games to be successful in our conference.”


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