Men’s soccer secures key victory

Brittany Willwerth, Staff Writer

The Bison men’s soccer team defeated Army in a critical 1-0 victory on Oct. 21, launching the team into fourth place in the Patriot League standings with an overall record of 5-7-3 and 3-3 in conference play.

Just over six minutes into the match, a Bison corner kick was sent flying to the near post by Matt Thorsheim ’21. After getting a good position, Ben Derleth ’18 deflected the ball into the back of the net, scoring what would prove to be the game-winning goal.

Army applied strong offensive pressure after this deficit, outshooting the Bison 11-4 and dominating possession for the majority of the game. Despite the Black Knights having the edge in stats, the defense would control the tempo of the game and ultimately secure the victory.

With Ryan Ott ’19 in goal, along with Tyler Peterson ’19, Quinn Bredin ’20, Dan Bank ’18, and Bernie Wright ’20 all involved on the back line, the team prevented Army from notching an equalizer. Ott in particular delivered a standout performance, maintaining a constant presence while lowering his goals-against average to .97. He leads the league with a .806 save percent.

“It was a great team win versus an extremely talented Army team. Everyone played to their strengths and demonstrated extraordinary passion. This was a massive step forward, and we hope to capitalize on this momentum as we prepare for a difficult away match-up versus Lehigh,” Bank said.

Army’s best opportunity came with approximately 14 minutes left, when a header flew from a congested area and grazed the right post.

“The Army game was a fantastic performance from the team as a whole. From the goalkeeper and backline to the midfield and forwards, everyone did their job to ensure we got a very important win,” Derleth said.

On Oct. 25, the Orange and Blue tallied another crucial 2-1 win at Lehigh, carried by two first-half goals from Matt Thorsheim ’21. Emmett Witmer ’20 made nine saves in goal.

With these two victories, the Bison slid into the fourth and final league playoff spot with one game remaining. They continue their playoff push on Oct. 28 for Senior Day, when they host Boston University and look to improve their 5-2 record at home.

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