WAYNESBURG, Pa. – The Franciscan men's soccer team got the 2018 season rolling with a 3-1 win over Waynesburg, Friday evening, as four different players found their way on the scoresheet.
Trailing 1-0 with just over eight minutes to play in the first half, the Barons drew a foul inside as they were attacking the goal and set up their first penalty kick of the season. Freshman Nick Miller was called upon to take the PK in his first game as a Baron and did not disappoint. Miller connected with a goal under the diving goal into the bottom right corner of the net.
The Barons would take the 1-1 tie into halftime.
The tie would not hold for long, however, as another Waynesburg foul in the penalty area set up another penalty kick for the Barons. This time sophomore JP Bobak stepped up to the plate and delivered a smooth shot across his body to give Franciscan a 2-1 lead early in the second half.
After four back and forth foul calls that did not allow either team to establish its offense, the Barons took control of the ball just past midfield in their defensive half. Francscian was able to clear the ball down the field and set up its offense in front of the Waynesburg net. Senior captain Mark Fioramonti collected the ball and one-touched it to classmate Brennan McNamara who went top shelf into the left corner for his first goal of the season in the 53 minute.
With the comfortable 3-1 lead, the Baron defense settled in and kept was to keep the Waynesburg offense off balance. The Yellow Jackets were able to get off just two shots for the remainer of the game, only one on net, and the Barons gave up just one corner kick in the final 37 minutes of action.
After allowing a quick goal just 51 seconds into action, sophomore Brian Gaughan settled into his role in net and made four saves in his first win as a Baron.
"I want to give Brian a lot of credit in his first start," remarked head coach Christian Bobak. "He played really well today and stepped up when he needed to."
Gaughan made three of his four saves in the first 15 minutes of the game before the defense really settled in and played well in front of Gaughan.
"We started off slow and we could be better at that – coaching wise – but once we settled in and played with more hunger, I am really proud on how we played," continued Coach Bobak. "When we started winning the 50/50 balls and not just letting them come to us, we started to play with a little more hunger and and really play well."
Franciscan also saw a balance effort on the offensive side of the ball as five different players registered at least one shot and four registered a point.
"Liam Nagle, Matthew Kuefler and [Nick] Miller really stepped up for us today and played played well," complimented Coach Bobak. "And Brennan and JP controlled this offense and really took it up a level."
McNamara was named Man of the Match following the contest by the coaches.
"The thing I am happiest with is that we were able to play a lot of guys tonight and they all played at a high level," continued Coach Bobak. "Now we have to get good rest and come back out and play well again tomorrow."
After a quick turnaround, the Barons open their season at home on Saturday as they welcome Thiel to Steubenville, Ohio for a 3:15 pm start.