BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University men's soccer team suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat at the hands of Grove City (Pa.) College on Tressel Field inside the George Finnie Stadium.
BW (5-4) senior All-Ohio Athletic Conference, Academic All-OAC, and CoSIDA Academic All-American forward Danny Ruple's (Berea/Berea-Midpark) three points in tonight's match placed him into some elite OAC company. His 131 career points moves him into the OAC's top-10 all-time scorers. Ruple only needs three more points to move into ninth place. Before this season's end, he also has a legitimate opportunity to set the all-time record of 156 points that is currently held by Capital University's Steven McCarthy (2006-2009).
With the loss, the Yellow Jackets fall to 7-6-2 in their historical matchups with Grove City (1-6-1).
BW played well in the first half, controlling the pace of the game with great ball possession and by lingering in offensive territory. The Yellow Jackets outshot the Wolverines 3-1 in the frame but Grove City made their one shot count. In the 10th minute of the game, Grove City senior Justin Lind scored on a strike from roughly 20 yards out that found the top right corner of the net. The score was 1-0 in favor of the Wolverines as both teams headed to the break.
To begin the second half, BW showed some resilience by turning their one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead in a matter of minutes. First, in the 51st minute, Ruple scored his 12th goal of the season by beating the Grove City keeper for a 50/50 ball that he subsequently tapped in the empty net. Just six minutes later, a streaking Ruple flew down the right wing with the ball and set up senior forward Joey Geither (Parma/Normandy) right in front of the net for his second goal of the season to put the Yellow Jackets up 2-1. Grove City responded in the 79th minute when a cross from senior Christian Caporaso was deflected in by senior Noah Esbenshade to tie the game at 2-2. With the clock winding down in the final minute of play, there was pandemonium inside the BW box until the ball squeaked out and found sophomore Wolverine Trevor Leitzel, who chipped it over the keeper, off the right goal post, and into the net for the game-winner. The goal came with 13 seconds remaining in regulation and handed the Yellow Jackets a heartbreaking home defeat.
Senior goalkeeper Patrick Mehal (Richfield/Revere) made two saves on five shots faced, and saw his record drop to 5-4 on the year.
BW returns to the pitch on Saturday, September 28 when it travels to take on Olivet (Mich.) College for a non-conference matchup at 2:00 p.m. on the Olivet College Soccer Field.