Men’s soccer looks to bounce back in early season matchup

By Logan Arblaster

From September 10, 2022

ALLIANCE, OHIO (Sept. 10) – The Waynesburg University men’s soccer team battled with Penn State Behrend on the road, losing the contest 3-1.

This out-of-conference matchup displayed all sorts of intensity. In fact, the only previous time these two teams played (2008), the game went into double overtime, resulting in a 2-0 win for the Lions. 

Waynesburg (2-2-0) did not hesitate to get on the board when senior Samuel Hawkins scored at the 9:47 mark. 

Being the lone Waynesburg senior and captain on the team, the goal was a huge moment for Hawkins.

“It is definitely a surreal feeling to be a senior this year, let alone the only one now,” Hawkins said. “I am trying to use my experience and help the younger guys as much as I can, both on and off the field.”

The team’s ability to play well in transition contributed to their opportunities at the beginning of the game.

“My goal today felt great,” Hawkins said. “As soon as I hit the ball I knew it was going into the back of the net. I was happy to help the team take the lead.”

Although Waynesburg struck first with a quick 1-0 lead, the Lions answered immediately. Minutes after Hawkins scored, Ziobro found the back of the net for Penn State Behrend (1-0-2).

The game was in a stalemate until Penn State Behrend scored again to put them up a goal at the 53:54 mark. Waynesburg tried to persevere through the Lions’ backline during the second half but struggled to capitalize. Penn State Behrend’s ability to play direct in transition kept most of the game on the Yellow Jacket’s end. 

Head Coach Treg Lunger was still pleased with parts of his team’s performance.

“We were good in transition,” Lunger said. “It led to our ability to break quickly.”

Lunger also said great things about their captain.

“Sam’s goal was a highlight reel,” Lunger said.

A young, but talented Waynesburg team received positive endorsements from their coach early in their season.  Lunger recognized there are still some areas he would like the team to improve in.

“Our possession needs to lead towards a progressive passing option more as we advance the ball,” Lunger said. “Heading into tomorrow we look to regain composure in possession and in front of the frame. We also aim to get our third clean sheet.”

As the men’s soccer team shifts their focus, coach Lunger and Hawkins will look to bounce back against Defiance College who are 0-1-2 on the young season.