Bullets defeat Mules, move up in conference standings
By Stephanie Karalis, Staff Writer
228 fans came out to Clark Field Saturday night to watch the Gettysburg men’s soccer team play Muhlenberg College. With a five game winning streak behind them, the men’s soccer team came in hot with intensity to defeat Muhlenberg 3-2.
“We played a very dapper and sleek style of play on Saturday,” said junior Michael Farese. “It was a very tenacious game and fortunately we were able to come out on top.”
After much back-and-forth in the beginning minutes of play, a handball against Muhlenberg in the box caused senior captain Henry Smith to take his second penalty kick of the season and successfully drill the ball into the opposing team’s net, putting Gettysburg in the lead 1-0 at the half.
The Bullets focus and determination to win was evident in their offense. The team outshot Muhlenberg 7-3 during the first 45 minutes on the field.
This drive to win did not falter in the second half of play. Senior KJ DePontes kept the team in the lead with a sneak past a Muhlenberg defender to score his second goal of the season. Gettysburg now led 2-0.
The Muhlenberg Mules were not going to let Gettysburg win without a fight, however, and they quickly challenged the Bullets. The Mules pushed the ball forward and within 44 seconds after the Bullets’ latest goal, were able to transition the ball for first-year Mule Pete Lunther to light up the visitor’s side of the scoreboard for the first time.
Muhlenberg first-year Wyatt Dessel then headed the ball into the goal from a free kick in the 76th minute. The Bullets and the Mules were now tied, but the Bullets’ resilience led them to put away one more goal to win the game.
Muhlenberg tried to stop Gettysburg, but its strategy led to a foul on junior Patrick Santini just outside the box. Smith took the free kick and struck the ball against the crossbar. Santini then raced to head the ball towards the left post, where first-year Bullet Ezekiel Omosanya drilled the ball into the left side of the net scoring his first collegiate and game winning goal.
The Bullets ended the night with their sixth consecutive win of the season, and they displayed great teamwork and potential for the future of the season. The team controlled the ball for majority of the second half.
Muhlenberg’s senior goalie Alex Tomko put up an impressive front with eight saves, but it was not enough. Gettysburg ended the game with 20 shots on goal while Muhlenberg tallied six.
This victory moves Gettysburg up one spot in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region poll, now ranking sixth in the region; it places the team tied for first in the Centennial Conference with Haverford College.
Both teams hold 2-0 conference records.
First-year Thomas Keane leads the conference for goals-against averaged (0.33).
The Bullets do not stop there, however, as DePontes and Smith tie for second in assists at three apiece. Santini leads this stat with four assists. Smith is also the third scorer in the conference with four goals thus far, and he ranks second in total points on the season, just behind the leader with 11. DePontes also sits at a five-way tie for sixth in points for the Conference, with seven on the season.
The Gettysburg team ranks number two in the conference for goals-against average (0.64).
“This year we have a lot returning guys and an extremely talented freshman class, so we are confident that we can do something spectacular this season,” said Farese.
The Bullets next play Haverford College in Haverford, PA Saturday at 3:30pm in an attempt to break the tie.