STEUBENVILLE – The Franciscan men's soccer team suffered a tough 3-2 loss to Thiel Saturday afternoon after leading 2-0 at the half.
With less than 10 minutes to play, Thiel took its first and only lead of the game as Luke Lindeman snuck a hard shot just under the crossbar out of the reach of sophomore Claudio Ferrari. The Tomcats took the 3-2 lead with 9:56 to play in regulation. Franciscan's offense kept the pressure on, but could not convert in the final minutes of the game as Thiel hung on for the win. With less than four to play, sophomore Sebastian Koehler's shot went just wide of the far post and Thiel hung on to its lead. Franciscan had two more chances in the final minutes as junior Chip Dougherty's point-blank shot was blocked and a header from Liam Nagle off a corner kick went over the net with 1:37 left in the game.
The Tomcats were able to clear the ball and keep the Baron offense from getting another good scoring opportunity for the rest of the game for the win.
Franciscan opened the game quickly as sophomore Gustavo Gutierrez got the Barons on the board just 6:21 into action. Gutierrez made a great run up the left side of the box as sophomore JP Bobak placed a perfect through ball in front of the net and Gutierrez sent it inside the far post for his first goal of the season.
With 2:36 left in the half, Koehler gave the Barons a 2-0 lead. Junior Kevin Herrmann took an initial shot that the Tomcat goalie as able to deflect by Koehler was there to collect the rebound and put the ball over the goalie and into the back of the net for the 2-0 lead going into halftime.
The Tomcats got the first shot of the second half off, but sophomore goalie Claudio Ferrari made a stop to keep the two-goal advantage for the Barons. After another Thiel shot, the Barons rattled off three of their own but couldn't find the goal.
With 26:27 left in regulation, Thiel got on the board as Zachery Olivier chipped in a pass from Christopher Felger for his first goal of the season. The Tomcats tied the game just four minutes later as Connor Swatts tucked the ball in under the crossbar out of Ferrari's reach. The Tomcat game-winning goal came 17 minutes later after three Baron attempts were turned away by Thiel.
Koehler and Gutierrez each finished the game with a goal while Bobak and Herrmann dished out an assist. The Barons out-shot the Tomcats 29-13 for the game.
Sophomore Brian Gaughan started the game in net and stopped all four shots he saw in 54:56 minutes of action while Ferrari made a pair of saves in his 35:04.
The Barons get a short rest before hosting Geneva in non-conference action on Tuesday at 5:00 pm.