Men’s soccer falls to Geneva, ending season in heartbreak

Jackets eliminated from playoffs in last regular season game for the third straight year.

In the pouring rain, it came down to the final game of the regular season for the Waynesburg University men’s soccer team. If the Jackets won, they would have still been alive for the Presidents Athletic Conference postseason. If they lost, those hopes would dissipate. The Jackets [5-9-3, 2-3-3] lost in heartbreaking fashion, 2-1 in double overtime to Geneva.

“It was a tough one,” coach Brad Heethuis said. “Our guys battled.

Waynesburg took the lead in the 28th minute of the first half. The goal was scored by Daniel Hott, with Nate Biondi recording the assist.

The Yellow Jackets hung on to the lead into halftime. Geneva [9-8, 5-2] tied the game up at one in the 52nd minute. The Golden Tornado goal was scored by Zach O’Connor off a free kick from 30 yards out. The game would remain deadlocked  for the rest of regulation and through the first overtime. Then in the second overtime, Geneva would broke Waynesburg’s hearts. In the 104th minute, Cole Saur scored the game winning goal with an assist from Ian Glessinger. 

“The effort was there, but that last bounce was a tough one,” Heethuis said. “That’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Waynesburg has missing the playoffs yet for the fifth straight season.  For the men’s soccer team next year, they will be without seven seniors. For Heethuis, although the senior never went on a playoff run, their drive was never in question. 

“Obviously record wise we did not finish the way we wanted to,” Heethuis said. “I appreciate the fight and I appreciate the heart.”

After the game there was a lot of emotion from the coaches, players and trainers. There was nothing except silence and tears. Caden Keplinger, Sean McCann, Justin Buberl, Nate Biondi, Dante Ohm, Nate Kummer and Joey Lantz realized that they no longer will be wearing the orange and black.

“They are what we want from young men in this program,” Heethuis said. “It will be very tough to see them go. I just appreciate the one through twenty-five what we brought to the game today and especially our seniors and what they brought this season and over their careers.”

Heethuis was very emotional, after the game, his eyes filled with tears. He said a prayer over the team and then watched as they left John F. Wiley Stadium for the last time as student athletes.. 

“It’s just a very influential senior class,” Heethuis said. “All seven guys if they’ve been here two years or four years they made an impact on the field and in the classroom.”