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Late Goals Lift Houghton (N.Y.) Past Men's Soccer; Ruple Named MVP

Junior All-OAC forward Danny Ruple scored both BW goals in a 3-2 loss to Houghton (N.Y.)
Junior All-OAC forward Danny Ruple scored both BW goals in a 3-2 loss to Houghton (N.Y.)

ERIE, Pa. –The Baldwin Wallace University men's soccer team allowed two late goals as Houghton (N.Y.) College completed a 3-2 come-from-behind victory in the teams' final Herb Lauffer Memorial Tournament game.

Following the completion of all tournament games, junior two-time All-OAC forward Danny Ruple (Berea/Berea-Midpark), who scored three goals and added an assist in two games, was named as the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

The Yellow Jackets (1-1) began the tournament with a 3-2 win over the State University of New York at Geneseo while Houghton (1-1) fell 2-1 in a tightly contested game with host Penn State Behrend College.

BW once again found themselves facing an early deficit as Houghton netted the game's first goal in the fifth minute. The Highlanders would get off one more shot before BW got its first look on goal and began to control the pace of the game.

In the 27th minute, Ruple, the reigning Ohio Athletic Conference Forward of the Year, took advantage of a failed clear by a Houghton defender and instead sent the ball deep into the Highlander net, tying the game at 1-1. BW had another scoring opportunity in the 36th minute when junior defender Jake Woodruff (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Dublin) sent in a cross from the right side but couldn't connect with one of his fellow Yellow Jackets as the game remained tied at halftime.  

When play resumed in the second half, the BW offense remained in attack mode but couldn't convert until the 73rd minute when, five shots into the half, junior midfielder Kurt Raney (Mentor) found Ruple for his second goal of the game and third of the tournament, giving BW its first lead of the game at 2-1. Houghton would not go down quietly, however, as the Highlanders evened things up at 2-2 in the 84th minute and quickly scored the eventual game-winning goal just three minutes later. Junior Academic All-OAC midfielder Rafael Davalos (Kettering/Alter) put the Yellow Jackets final shot wide of the goal as the late comeback attempt fell short.

In his first start since 2016, senior Academic All-OAC goalkeeper Brian Haviland (Grasonville, Md./Kent Island) recorded five saves, including four in the second half. BW held the slight offensive advantage, outshooting the Highlanders 14-12, while shots on goal was even at eight apiece.

BW will return to Berea to host non-conference foe the College of Wooster for the Yellow Jackets' home opener on Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. on the new Tressel Field surface inside George Finnie Stadium.