Men’s soccer records first league win of season

Elise Covert, Sports Co-Editor

The Bison men’s soccer team rode two first half goals to push past defending Patriot League regular season champions American University on Sept. 30 at Graham Field. The defense fended off a last-minute offensive flurry from the Eagles to hold on to the 2-1 win. Goals were scored by Bernie Wright ’20 and Matt Thorsheim ’21. The victory brings the Bison’s record to 3-4-2 on the season and 1-1-0 in the Patriot League.

“Being such a young team and coming off a long four-game stretch on the road, getting our first Patriot League win couldn’t have come at a better time,” Wright said. “This is two games in a row where we’ve scored two goals, so the offense is beginning to gel. Scoring wins games and gives our defense some breathing room, which is good because Patriot League games are always close.”

The Orange and Blue dominated first half play, outshooting the Eagles 9-2. Thorsheim got the Bison on the board first with a goal in the 8th minute. In traffic, he collected a pass from Patrick Mahoney ’20 and scored at the far post. Wright followed suit in the 27th minute with a high-power shot from 28 yards out that sailed past the keeper.

With six minutes remaining, keeper Ryan Ott ’19 deflected a line-drive shot from an American offender, but the ball ricocheted back into the box. Stefan Gollisz ’21 cleared a follow-up shot from point blank range off the goal line to keep American off the board.

It was a physical contest throughout, with 28 fouls being called on the two teams combined. A 89th minute corner kick for American led to a scum in the box, and Ott was called for a penalty. The Eagles converted the ensuing penalty kick with a brisk shot into the bottom right corner to bring the score to 2-1 with a minute to go in regulation.

“The keys to competing in physical matches is the ability to keep your composure. Many teams try to get in your head through purposefully going hard into tackles or fouling. As a player it is hard not to retaliate, but it’s important to keep your cool and not let the opponent get the best of you,” Wright said. Fortunately, the penalty to Ott did not affect the overall outcome of the contest.

The Bison defense held off the Eagles’ final push to secure their first league win this season against a team that they have historically struggled against. They generated five corner kicks in the effort while holding the Eagles to just two, and tallied 14 shots to American’s 11. The victory broke a four-game losing streak to American and brought the series record to 7-15-1 for the Orange and Blue.

On Oct. 5, the Bison then took on Loyola in a back-and-forth battle that ended in a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory on a goal by Mahoney.

The Bison continue their league campaign on Oct. 7, when they travel to Massachusetts to take on Holy Cross.

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