Men’s soccer team drops two in opening weekend

Dakota Keefer - For the Yellow Jacket

The Waynesburg University men’s soccer team ended last season one win away from a playoff spot, after losing its final regular season game to the Washington & Jefferson Presidents. Had The Jackets won that game they would have finished in fourth place, but with the loss they fell to sixth.

The Jackets opened the 2019 season this weekend looking to bounce back from last season’s disappointing ending. They opened play Fridayagainst Lancaster Bible College. The Jackets were never able to get their footing, as the game winning goal was scored about six minutes into the contest.

Lancaster led 1-0 at halftime, but ended up scoring two insurance goals in the second half. After the third goal of the contest  for Lancaster, goalkeeper Adam Dolan was relieved by freshman Matthew Hilarzewski. Head coach Bradley Heethuis said there was no specific reasoning for this move.

“We were just trying to get Matt Hilarzewski up a little bit of experience, since he’s our freshman,” Heethuis said. 

The second game of the season Saturday against Penn State Harrisburg went better offensively than Friday. The Jackets had the lead a couple times in the game, and ultimately scored three goals.

Unfortunately, the Jackets surrendered four goals. Waynsburg took a 1-0 lead 16 minutes into the game as Justin Buberl scored his first goal of the season.

Penn State Harrisburg answered back, however, scoring two goals in the next three minutes. Waynesburg eventually took the lead back late in the second half as Nate Kummer notched his first goal of the season to give the Jackets a 3-2 lead.

Penn State Harrisburg again had an answer with two goals of its own, as the game winning goal was scored by freshman Anthony Lavia. Waynesburg ended up falling in the contest 4-3.

The team was outshot by a combined 35-16 in the two games, and 17-7 in shots on goal. In Saturday’s contest, Waynesburg scored on three of its four shots on goal.  Heethuis spoke about Waynesburg’s selective shooting.

“I definitely want to see us get more opportunities,” Heethuis said. “We need to get on the ball and get our self in more dangerous spots so we can have more opportunities.”

Waynesburg will try to bounce back and get more opportunities Tuesday as they are on the road once again against La Roche College. La Roche has played just one game this season, a loss to Washington & Jefferson.