ERIE, Pa. – In the team's season-opener, the Baldwin Wallace University men's soccer team defeated the State University of New York at Geneseo 3-2 in the annual Herb Lauffer Memorial Tournament, hosted by Penn State Behrend College.
The win marks the Yellow Jackets first season-opening victory since 2015 and the team's first win in the Herb Lauffer tournament since 2014.
Both teams battled for possession in the first five minutes but Geneseo (0-1) and Ari Samoohy found the back of the net first to take the early 1-0 advantage. BW (1-0) did not trail for long, however, as the Yellow Jackets evened things up in the ninth minute off an own goal.
Scoring opportunities continued to abound in the first half as BW ripped off two shots and three corner kicks in a six-minute span but it wasn't until the 30th minute when senior Academic All-OAC defender Jeremy Foust (Strongsville) found the reigning Ohio Athletic Conference Forward of the Year, junior two-time All-OAC forward Danny Ruple (Berea/Berea-Midpark), for his first goal of the year. Ruple's goal gave the Yellow Jackets a lead that they would not relinquish for the rest of the game.
The Knights finished off the first half on the offensive but junior goalkeeper Patrick Mehal (Richfield/Revere) kept BW in front as he notched three of his five first half saves in the final 10 minutes.
Junior Academic All-OAC forward Cannon Dees (Berea/Berea-Midpark) added to the lead when he sank a ball deep into the left corner of the net for his first collegiate goal in the 52nd minute. The Knights would not go down without a fight, however, cutting the Yellow Jacket advantage down to 3-2 in the 61st minute.
BW looked to answer and regain a two-goal advantage but Ruple and junior midfielder Kurt Raney (Mentor) had their shots saved by Dillon Medd. The Knights had a few more opportunities to tie the game and force overtime but came up short. Geneseo ended up outshooting the Yellow Jackets 11-8 in the game but Mehal saved seven of the Knights' nine shots on goal to register the win.
BW continues play in the Herb Lauffer Memorial Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 1, against Houghton (N.Y.) College at 5 p.m. Houghton fell to host Penn State Behrend College 2-1 in its opening tournament game.