Derleth’s late goal leads men’s soccer to 1-0 FDU shutout

Bethany Blass, Sports Co-Editor

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Men’s soccer moves to 2-4-1 after FDU victory

In the first home game since their season opener Aug. 26, the men’s soccer team clinched a 1-0 win over Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU). The Bison moved to 2-4-1 thanks to a goal from Ben Derleth ’18 with 13 minutes left in the game.

Early on, the Orange and Blue proved to be stiff competition for FDU, with numerous attempts on goal. Midfielder Crispin Muessle ’17 made his first start of the season and assisted Justin Galiani ’17 for a shot on goal early on, although the FDU keeper was there for the save. Another attempt came from duo Sebastiaan Blickman ’17 and Nick King ’20. Zack Rockmore ’17 also contributed an attempt on goal. The FDU keeper had to record eight saves throughout the game to fend off the Bison.

Muessle was glad to see his team’s hard work pay off with a rewarding victory.

“We were able to put together a really strong performance against a competitive opponent, which signifies the direction we’re moving in and the potential this group has as we prepare for Patriot League play starting this weekend,” Muessle said. “If we can focus on improving every practice, I think the pieces will fall into place by the time playoffs roll around.”

Closing in on the first half, Rockmore had another solid shot on goal that just barely missed. With just under four minutes until halftime, a penalty kick was awarded to the Orange and Blue for a trip-up of Blickman; however, the impressive efforts from FDU’s keeper managed to keep the game scoreless.

Throughout the game, the Orange and Blue defense stayed consistent to keep the team alive. Goalkeeper Emmett Witmer ’20 recorded five saves for the Bison to pick up the first shutout of the season.

“I think we just need to work on playing with high intensity and continuing to grind out games,” Witmer said.

After 76 minutes of play, the Bison made progress. Galiani sent in a shot from the far right sideline. Despite an initial save from FDU keeper, Derleth collected the rebound and tallied the lone goal for the Bison. With just under seven minutes left of play, Blickman and Adam Bradshaw ’17 paired up for an impressive cross and header combination to score; however, Blickman was ruled to be offside, denying the Bison a second goal.

Head coach Brendan Nash was impressed with his team’s success in holding FDU scoreless. He recognized the unique situation of this season’s diverse lineup consisting of first-years and seniors.

“We have to continue to get the freshmen experienced as they learn our systems,” Nash said. “The responsibility falls a lot on the seniors as they have to adjust their games to new players.”

The Bison will compete with their first conference opponent, Boston University, at home on Sept. 24.

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