ERIE, Pa. – The Franciscan men's soccer team's season came to a close Saturday afternoon as the Barons fell in overtime to Grove City, 2-1, in the opening round of the 2017 ECAC Men's Soccer Tournament.
The Barons (11-7-2) earned their first-ever bid to ECAC tournament after an impressive 10-6-2 regular season and going 1-1 in the AMCC tournament. Their season came to an unfortunate end, however, as the Wolverines struck 2:25 into overtime to advance to the pod championship game against Penn St.-Behrend.
After a scoreless second half, the Barons and Wolverines were tied 1-1. Grove City's Trent Strick took a pass from Jonathan Burton after a collision with the Baron keeper in the box and was able to loft the ball just inside the right post for the game-winner in overtime. The Barons were not without their chances late in the game as freshman JP Bobak's shot with 5:53 left went just barely wide of the net as the game remained tied after regulation.
The Barons struck first in the game, taking an early 1-0 lead, making the most of a rare open shot for Bobak. Senior Leo Herrmann lofted the ball into the box for Bobak who volleyed it into the top right corner, over an outstretched Wolverine keeper for his 10th goal of the season just 9:06 into the game.
The Wolverines tied the contest 7:10 later as Blake Baer went from right to left with a hard shot and snuck the ball into the far post for his fourth goal of the season.
Franciscan had one of its best scoring chances six minutes later as Bobak put a great corner kick in front of the goalie. Sophomore Ian Baldau's header was saved by a Grove City defender and sophomore Joseph Leonardi's follow up shot was stopped by the same defender to keep the game tied.
Grove City held an 18-5 advantage in shots and a 7-3 lead in corner kicks. Bobak led the Barons with a pair of shots while Herrmann, Leonardi and Baldau each had one.
Senior Thomas Dosedel finished the day with four saves.
The Baron senior class graduates as the most successful class in program history after amassing a 31-36-5 record over the last four years and making it to the conference playoffs in back-to-back season. This season, the Barons set the team's single-season scoring record with 47 goals and 32 assists for 126 points, all three registering as single-season highs. The 1.71 goals against average is a new team single-season record as are the 11 wins.