NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – A hot start combined with a last-second goal proved tough to overcome as the Baldwin Wallace University men's soccer team fell 4-2 to Manchester (Ind.) University at the Spartan Soccer Complex.
Both teams' offenses were on display to start as Manchester (1-2 overall) quickly netted a 1-0 lead just 6:18 into the game. The Yellow Jackets (2-2 overall) did not trail for long, however, as two junior Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference forwards in Cannon Dees (Berea/Berea-Midpark) and Joey Geither (Parma/Normandy) connected for a goal less than five minutes later, marking Dees's second assist and Geither's first goal on the season.
Manchester did not allow the game to be tied at 1-1 for long, taking a 2-1 lead with 32:25 remaining in the first half. The Spartans would take six more shots, three of them on goal, before BW evened things up once again thanks to an unassisted goal from the reigning OAC Forward of the Year, junior two-time All-OAC and Academic All-OAC forward Danny Ruple (Berea/Berea-Midpark) with 19:47 left on the clock. The rest of the first half remained scoreless despite four more shots being taken between the two teams.
The second half did not feature as much offense but the Spartans were able to regain a one-goal lead with 33:50 left in the game. Manchester maintained that 3-2 advantage for most of the period despite BW's late attempts at penetrating the back line. Ruple had back-to-back looks on goal in the 78th and 79th minutes with one going wide right and one being saved. Another late push in the 86th minute resulted in an offside call. Meanwhile, one final Spartan goal with 46 seconds remaining put a stop to a BW comeback as Manchester sealed the 4-2 victory.
In the net, junior goalkeeper Patrick Mehal (Richfield/Revere) recorded a season-high 11 saves in his first loss of the year. Manchester outshot the Yellow Jackets 25-8 and 15-5 when it came to shots on goal while BW had the advantage in saves (11-3) and corner kicks (10-8).
BW will continue its four-game road trip on Saturday, Sept. 8, when the Yellow Jackets take on Anderson (Ind.) University at 2 p.m. at the Anderson University Soccer Stadium.