BEREA, Ohio – An 88th minute goal from junior Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference forward Joey Geither (Parma/Normandy) lifted the Baldwin Wallace University men's soccer team to its first OAC victory of the season, a 1-0 shutout of Ohio Northern University inside George Finnie Stadium.
Ohio Northern (8-3-1, 1-1 OAC) came into the game riding a seven-game winning streak and had not allowed a goal in over 400 minutes of play until Geither's goal. The victory marks the first time the Yellow Jackets (6-5-1, 1-1 OAC) have defeated the Polar Bears since 2014.
The BW back line of senior Academic All-OAC defender Jeremy Foust (Strongsville), senior defender JT Taubeneck (Parma/Normandy), freshman defender Trevor Hamm (Strongsville) and freshman defender Reed Watkins (Munster, Ind.) was on display to start the first half, shutting down a number of potential Ohio Northern attacks. On the other side, the Polar Bear defense was able to keep the Yellow Jackets at bay as well. Shots in the period were even at seven apiece, Ohio Northern held the advantage in shots on goal at 5-2 and junior goalkeeper Patrick Mehal (Richfield/Revere) outsaved his counterpart 5-2.
The second half began much the same as the first half. As time wore on, Ohio Northern started to control possession in the defensive third and rack up some shots but the BW defense stepped up to the challenge. Some strong saves by Mehal in the 74th and 83rd minutes gave the Yellow Jackets an opportunity to score the game-winning goal. The reigning OAC Forward of the Year, junior two-time All-OAC and Academic All-OAC forward Danny Ruple (Berea/Berea-Midpark), pulled in the Polar Bear defense and found Geither, who tucked the ball into the bottom right corner of the net. With just over two minutes left on the clock, the lone goal proved to be too much for Ohio Northern to surmount as BW sealed its first conference victory and second shutout.
Mehal picked up his third win and first shutout of the year with eight saves. The Polar Bears pulled away with the shot total in the second half (20-12), shots on goal (8-4) and corner kicks (7-1).
BW will look to bring this momentum on the road into a matchup with the defending OAC champion Otterbein University Cardinals on Saturday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. inside Memorial Stadium.