By: Matylda Zamudio
Beaver Falls, Pa.— The Penn State Beaver men's soccer team faced off against Berkeley College- NJ on Friday afternoon for the 2019 season opener at Wright Fields. After playing a close game, the men fell short and lost 3-2.
Freshman Julian Hauff (Frederick/ Governor Thomas Johnson) (L, 0-1) served as the goalie for the first half of the game and had 5 saves against 7 SOG. Freshman Brennan Schultz (Kane/ Kane Area) served as goalie in the second half and had 2 saves against 3 SOG.
In the first period, Berkley jumped ahead of Beaver early after scoring a goal 1:03 into the game (1-0). But a minute and a half later, sophomore Danylo Yakymov (Kiev/ Grand Private Lyceum) made it down to scoring territory and launched a kick at the net but Berkley's goalie thwarted his attempt. However, Beaver held on to the ball, and the team worked together and got the ball to Valiga, who scored the first goal to tie the game 1-1. The teams went back and forth for the next 28 minutes without scoring and both running into foul trouble. But Berkley managed to jump ahead once again, a scored another goal to put Beaver behind 2-1. But the men answered back on the next play with Garcia scoring Beaver's second goal to even the score (2-2). The first half ended 2-2.
Beaver did a good job maintaining possession of the ball for the first portion of the second half. However, despite several scoring opportunities, Beaver couldn't connect for another goal, which offered Berkley the chance to score a third goal at 62:06 in (3-2) and pull ahead for the third time. With time running out in the game with less than a minute to go, Valiga made a headshot to the right but shot too wide. Beaver took its first loss of the season 3-2.
After today's match, Beaver starts the season 0-1. The men will travel to Highmark Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 4, where they will face Carlow University in their first road game. The game is slated for 7 p.m.