Men's soccer defeats Ivy League team
The AU men's soccer team had a superb outing against U. Penn yesterday, posting a decisive 4-1 victory at home. The Eagles' midfielders and forwards were a commanding presence throughout the game, and defenders Larry McDonald, a sophomore, and Brett Colton, a junior, anchored the back line.
Although there were occasional breakaways against the AU defense, including one early in the second half that led to the only Penn goal, American's defense came through with a solid performance. Sophomore Mike Behonick held Penn to only nine shots, compared to 20 for AU, and had three saves, including two lunging attempts early in the first half to give AU a positive start.
"The defense has been great all year," Todd West, the Eagles' new head coach, said.
The Eagles burst out of a cannon in the second half, scoring three goals and limiting Penn to just three shots. Jon Colton, a junior, scored the first goal of the game on a breakaway in the 27th minute off a feed from junior Adam Rosen to put the Eagles ahead. Second-half offense for the Eagles was even more explosive, as sophomore Kris Bertsch widened the lead 30 seconds into the half by blazing a shot into the top right corner of the net.
Penn soon closed to 2-1, but junior Matt Kopacka drilled the ball into the top of the net at close range in the 67th minute to give the Eagles a safety margin. Kopacka was assisted by Adam Rosen, his second assist of the game, and by co-captain Stephen Pedicini, a senior. AU's final goal came in the 77th minute from Brett Colton assisted by his brother Jon Colton.
The Eagles showed the potency of their offense today and should continue to do so: Of last year's starters, nine are returning this year.
"I think we're going to score a lot of goals this year," West said after the game.
With the victory the Eagles improve to 2-2, and will face Adelphi away next Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Eagles were not so fortunate on Friday when they were shutout by Princeton, 3-0. Although the Eagles hung tough and played solid defense, two goals by Matt Behncke were enough to place the victory out of reach for American. Eleven shots were fired by the Eagles, who could not capitalize on Princeton's stingy goal-keeping.
Friday's loss may have been hard to swallow, but the loss of co-captain Bob Brennan, a senior, was perhaps a much heavier blow to the Eagles. Brennan came out with a separated shoulder and did not play in Sunday's game against Penn.
Earlier in the week, after a scoreless first half Bertsch scored in the 72nd minute to give AU its first victory of the season in the consolation game of the D.C. Challenge. The score was tied at 1-1 when sophomore Nino Marcantonio assisted Bertsch for the game-winner. Jon Colton broke the game open in the 51st minute, but Liberty's Chase Perry soon countered in the 62nd minute off an assist from Kian Brownlee.
The Eagles had several occasions to build a solid lead, but Liberty goalkeeper Dean Short's 12 saves kept AU at bay throughout most of the game. However, AU had a strong presence, out-shooting Liberty 30-16 and pressing for 10 corner kicks. AU goalkeeper Michael Gorsegner, a senior, limited Liberty to three corner kicks and had eight saves.