Bullets blaze past Monarchs: Pick up first win of the season

Photo Credit: David Sinclair, GCC&M

Photo Credit: David Sinclair, GCC&M

By Stephanie Karalis, Staff Writer

The Gettysburg College men’s soccer team traveled to Wilkes-Barre, PA on Sunday, September 4, to play King’s College for its second game of the season. The match-up marked the first win on the team’s fall schedule.

With a 0-1 loss in their first game against The University of Scranton, the Bullets came ready to play and win against the Monarchs.

“[Scranton was] very physical and took [the team] away from the way [they] like to play,” said senior captain forward Henry Smith.

The Bullets had an aggressive first half, holding a 9-2 shot average, but they were unable to put any goals away. The game was back and fourth until sophomore Cassidy Tripolitis of the Monarchs earned the first goal with one minute left in the first half. This goal was the only goal scored in the half, and the Bullet’s fed off of this deficit to come in hot for the second half.

The last 30 minutes were heated with four shots from the Bullets nearing the net in the first 15 minutes. After another 18 minutes, senior midfielder KJ DePontes crossed the ball to Smith, who scored off a header making it a 1-1 tie game. With a few minutes left in the half, the Bullets had all the incentive to win.

After 16 more minutes of play, junior forward Patrick Santini received a pass down the right side of the field and launched a goal into the top right corner, his first of the season. Santini is tied for the fourth highest number of shots on net this season in the Centennial Conference, with nine shots in the past two games.

The Bullets now led 2-1 with two minutes left in the half. In the last minute of playing time, DePontes assisted first year Bobby Weikert to get his first goal of the season, finalizing the score, 3-1 Bullets.

“Bobby Weikert scored a great goal to put the game out of reach, it was awesome to see a freshman get on the board,” said senior captain Jordy Steelman.

DePontes currently sits tied in first with four other Centennial Conference players for the most number of assists this season while junior goalkeeper Max Karen only had to protect the net twice from the Monarchs in the second half. Karen has a 1.00 goals-against-average thus far this season, placing him fifth in the conference.

The Bullets entered the competition with high desire to win, and it was seen in every minute of playing time. The men’s team out-shot King’s College 21-3 with a 10-3 corner kick advantage.

“[The team is] lucky to have a lot of returning goal scorers and contributors,” said Steelman.

Some of these returners include forwards junior Michael Farese and sophomore Kingsley Nzekwe and midfielder juniors Lucas Weissman and Justin Wigley, sophomores Matt Stine and Tyler Robinson and senior captain Ryan Kennedy.

“[The team] played well, created many chances, and came back from a deficit”, said Smith. “I expect big things this season. We’ve played a lot of freshman already this year, so we’ll have a ton of depth and experience throughout the squad.”

With ten new freshmen added to the squad, there is a wide array of both young and old on the team this season. The Bullets lost only three players to graduation in May, so depth is far from a worry. The Centennial Conference preseason poll predicts the Bullets to finish fifth in the conference this season, which would be an improvement from last season’s sixth place finish.

The Gettysburg Men’s Soccer will battle Messiah College at home on Wednesday, September 14, at 7pm on Clark Field.

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