NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – The Franciscan men's soccer team battled until the final whistle to earn a 2-1 win over Westminster (Pa.) for the first-ever win over the Titans in program history, Tuesday evening.
Facing a test early with two Westminster corner kicks in the first two minutes of action, the Franciscan backline showed they were ready for a tough fight. The Barons were able to clear both corners and push the ball up field to the Franciscan midfield.
Freshman JP Bobak got the first shot off for the Barons, and although it was blocked, kick started the Franciscan offense to put pressure on the Titans.
Franciscan struck first as senior Leo Herrmann collected a deflection from freshman Sebastian Koehler and blasted it past the goalie to give the Barons a 1-0 edge with less than four minutes to play in the first half. Westminster answered immediately, however, as the Titans scored on their very next shot just 17 seconds later. The Titan goal would prove to be the last shot of the half as the two teams took the tie into halftime.
"After halftime, we really started to compose ourselves and win the 50/50 balls," remarked head coach Christian Bobak. "We really willed it a lot. We had a great collective effort and it was without a doubt a top to bottom team win today. I thought we played really well collectively on defense."
The second half played out much like the first with both teams playing well together. Franciscan was able to break the tie, however, as Herrmann scored his seventh goal of the season as he made a move past a defender in the box and put the ball behind the goal line 11 minutes into the half. The 2-1 lead was enough for the Barons as they kept Westminster off the scoreboard over the final 33:05.
The Baron defense was able to keep Westminster off balance, and while the Titans got nine shots off in the final 33 minutes of the game, just one was on target and stopped by the Baron back line.
"This was a huge testament to our guys," continued Coach Bobak. "They had a really good warm up and everyone was pretty confident – not over confident and they battled all day. We starting to find out shoes and find our shape and are able to play our game and not just play to the level of our opponent. We definitely still have a lot to improve on but we are happy with this one."
Senior goalie Thomas Dosedel earned his third win of the season as he played all 90 minutes in net. The senior need just two saves for the win.
"Tom was super confident today – he had an outstanding game," complimented Coach Bobak. "He definitely was a huge part of the win. The back line really stepped up in a big way with some guys playing in a new position and filling in some key roles. Senior Kyle Hames had a fantastic game for us today."
Hames was named the Barons' Man of the Match following the game.
Franciscan has a short break before welcome Mt. St. Joseph to Steubenville for the first time on Friday. The Barons are set to host the Lions at 5 pm on September 15.
"They are an unfamiliar opponent and will be another objective test for us. (The Lions) are going to come and give us their best game but we are going to as well."