The Mercyhurst College men’s soccer team continued their impressive home form this week, tallying two more victories. These wins now leave the Lakers 5-0 at home.
The Fighting Scots of Ohio Valley University (OVU) visited the Mercyhurst soccer field on Wednesday. Consistent with the trend this season, the Lakers came out of the blocks hot.
The Lakers controlled possession and held the advantage in shots. They were rewarded in the 16th minute when graduate student Paul Neill met a cross from the right. His header hit the crossbar and fell to the feet of senior Nick Thompson. Thompson applied the finish to put the Lakers up 1-0.
OVU tried to find a way back in the game when a shot by Shane Mead was cleared off the line by sophomore Eric Steinmetz. The Lakers took the one-goal advantage to the half-time break.
The second half saw Mercyhurst continue the pressure, taking 20 shots. The aggressive play yielded a second goal as senior David Miller found himself on the left byline; he whipped a cross into the area. The keeper couldn’t hold on to the ball and his attempted clearance found defender Christophe Hampel, a junior. He powered an effort that hit the back of the net.
The Mercyhurst defense closed out the final minutes of the game allowing only one shot against. Freshman Diego Gustin and junior Ryan Wagner shared the clean sheet in goal as the game ended 2-0.
The Vulcans of California University of Pennsylvania rolled into Erie on Friday for an important Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West clash.
The Lakers, carrying a four-game win streak into the game, knew the gravity of this competitive conference match-up.
Cal came into the game at 0-2 in conference play, but as defending PSAC champs they still posed a threat.
The game started at a furious pace with the Lakers tallying four shots before the Vulcans had their first.
The teams remained in a deadlock for the first 28 minutes until junior Tommy Lund crossed a long diagonal ball. Nick Thompson met the cross with a powerful shot to the far corner.
This tally was Thompson’s fifth consecutive game with a goal, leaving him one away from equaling Kurt Young’s streak in 2006.
Mercyhurst took control of the game and tagged on two more goals before half-time. Junior striker Billy Colton coolly slotted both chances home. The first came from a slick 1-2 with Paul Neill and the second was a pass from Nick Thompson in the box, leaving Colton in space six yards out.
Mercyhurst possessed the ball through the second half, limiting Cal’s chances.
Junior Dean Atkins latched onto a cross by senior Rafa Silva to close up the scoring for the Lakers, ending the game at 4-0.
Senior Nick Thompson puts the Lakers great home form down to momentum: “We are taking the game to the opponents right from the first whistle,” the midfielder said. “Once we get on top of a team for the first 20 minutes, we pressure them into making mistakes. We build on that momentum and the goals usually follow.”