Cal picks off men’s soccer at home

The Gannon University men’s soccer team clinched a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament berth for the first time in school history since entering the conference in 2008.

But the Knights’ bliss was soon interupted when they fell to California University of Pennsylvania by the score of 2-1 Tuesday. Gannon’s record fell to 11-2.

Senior forward Tyler Hollingsworth scored the only goal for the Knights in the second half, but by that time Cal was up 2-0.

However, coach Rob van Rheenen said  he liked the Knights’ effort.

“The boys played hard throughout the whole game,” he said. “We just needed to come out stronger at the beginning.”

The Knights’ PSAC record is now 5-1, currently good for first place in the conference.

Junior goalkeeper Jason Barbarino allowed two goals in the most recent game after registering two straight shutouts against Wheeling Jesuit University and Urbana University.

The Knights look to get back to their winning ways and close out their season with three consecutive PSAC games and will continue their conference action with an away game against Shippensburg University at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Knights are ranked sixth among all Division II programs and first in the PSAC. Robbie Bennett, Alex Perri, Sean Pike and Jason Barbarino have aided the team by earning PSAC player of the week honors this season.

The Knights had improved to 11-1 with a close win against Wheeling Jesuit University on Oct. 9. Bennett tallied his eighth goal of the season and the lone goal of the match from an assist by senior midfielder Sean Washek.

Washek said the Knights’ defecit Tuesday was to big too overcome.

“It’s not that we got beat because we didn’t work hard, its because we had a slow start and just couldn’t get back,” he said.

Bennett leads the Knights in scoring with eight goals and five assists. Four of Bennett’s eight goals have been game-winning scores for Gannon this season.

 

CONNOR SONDEL

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