PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Sophomore Sebastian Koehler (Ashburn, VA/Seton Home Study) provided his team-leading third game-winning goal for the Franciscan men's soccer team as the Barons defeated Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent, La Roche, 4-2, Wednesday afternoon.
With the game tied 2-2 and 14:03 left on the clock, Koehler took a pass from sophomore JP Bobak (Grand Island, NY/Canisius) and blasted it past the La Roche goalie to give Franciscan a 3-2 lead. Koehler's game-winner came just 17 seconds after the Redhawks tied the game at 2-2.
La Roche was able to get off four more shots over the next 10 minutes, but Bobak netted an insurance goal for the Barons in the 89th minute to give Franciscan a 4-2 lead. Despite a foul called, the Barons were able to keep the Redhawks away from the net in the final 1:09 to secure the road victory.
"This was a great character building win for us," remarked head coach Christian Bobak. "I thought we came out strong and really put our foot on the gas to set the tone early. We let them back in a little and have to learn to finish games, but we will learn from this. I am happy with the team win and we will enjoy it tonight, move on and get ready for our next game."
Franciscan took an early lead in the first half as freshman Nick Miller (Galena, OH/Olentangy) got the Barons on the board 10:33 into action off an assist from freshman Mikey Irvin (Steubenville, OH/Catholic Central). The Barons continued to pepper the La Roche goalie but could not get another shot past him in the first 45 minutes and carried the 1-0 lead into halftime.
Irvin has scored in the last two games for the Barons and he and Koehler lead the team with four goals each on the season.
Following the break, the Redhawks were given a yellow card in the 63rd minute which set up a free kick for the Barons. Irvin corralled the free kick and shot it past the La Roche keeper to give Franciscan a 2-0 lead.
Three minutes later, the Redhawks were finally able to find the back of the net as Ty Savochka scored after a Baron yellow card at 66:53. The Barons got two shots off but both were saved before Firas Abduljawad tied the game for La Roche at 75:40 off an assist from Chris Desser. The game-tying goal set up the late-game heroics for Koehler.
Franciscan out-shot the Redhawks 22-13, led by Bobak with six shots, five on goal, and Koehler with six shots, two on goal.
"JP was our Player of the Game today," remarked Coach Bobak. "He really got us going on the first goal, assisted the second, finished off the game with a goal of his own. He was super active for us and really played a good game."
Sophomore keeper Brian Gaughan (Hopkinton, MA/Hopkinton) made three saves on the five shots he faced for his seventh win of the season for Franciscan.
"Ian Baldau had a monster game for us," said Coach Bobak. "He played really well in the middle and we were able to stay steady even after giving up those two late goals."
The Barons return home on Saturday as they host Penn St.-Behrend in a key AMCC match up at 3:15 pm during Homecoming Weekend.