MEADVILLE, Pa. – The Baldwin Wallace University men's soccer team defeated non-conference opponent Allegheny (Pa.) College by a final score of 2-1 in double overtime.
BW (2-1) earned their fist victory over Allegheny (0-3) since 2011, having gone winless versus the Gators in their last seven matchups. The Yellow Jackets improved their all-time record against them to 6-8-4.
BW played very well in the first half, as they controlled the tempo by possessing the ball for the majority of the period. The first terrific scoring opportunities for the Yellow Jackets came within seconds of each other and by the same player. In the 14th minute, senior forward Danny Ruple (Berea/Berea-Midpark) received a pass and took a hard shot from well inside the crease, but it was stopped by a dazzling save from the Allegheny goalkeeper. The three-time All-OAC selection then had another chance immediately afterwards, breaking through the defense to chase a well-placed thru-ball, but eventually ran out of room near the keeper and fired it wide to the left. BW then had a goal overturned in the 17th minute because of an offside call. Despite the Yellow Jackets' offensive pressure early on, it was the Gators that struck first in the 21st minute, scoring on a header by senior Eddie Opalko. BW then stormed back and equalized the score at 1-1 in the 29th minute, when freshman midfielder Andras Fabian (Hinckley/Highland) found enough space on the run to receive a pass from Ruple, and send it past the keeper.
The second half featured a plentiful amount of scoring chances as both teams combined for 11 shots on goal. In the 62nd minute, a Gators' player was sprung on a semi-breakaway but diving senior goalkeeper Patrick Mehal (Richfield/Revere) stopped his attempt with a terrific save. A couple minutes later, the Yellow Jackets had a fantastic opportunity of their own as sophomore forward Dylan Keeling (Rocky River) cut to the middle of the crease on a rush and ripped a shot that was kept out by a diving keeper as well. In the 84th minute, freshman midfielder Brandon Garibotti (Berea/Berea-Midpark) attempted a one-touch shot from a pass in close, but it veered just wide to the left. Approximately one minute later, Allegheny responded with a chance of their own when one of their players managed to evade a couple BW defenders and fire a hard shot that missed just wide to the right. Both teams remained tied at the end of regulation and the game headed into overtime.
The first and second overtime periods presented minimal legitimate scoring opportunities for both squads. There were a couple instances where corner kicks from both sides provided scares off of scrambles in front of the net, but the threats were ultimately neutralized. However, with 1:15 left on the scoreboard in the second overtime period, the Yellow Jackets' Ruple managed to corral a pass by senior midfielder Rafael Davalos (Kettering/Alter) from just outside the right side of the crease, speed around the defender, and score the game winner along with his team-leading fourth goal of the season.
BW's Mehal had a stellar performance in net as he improved his record to 2-1. He made four saves, allowing just one goal.
The Yellow Jackets' next game will take place on Saturday, September 7 at 7:00 p.m., as they take on non-conference opponent Denison University on Tressel Field in George Finnie Stadium for their home opener.