Offense leads Bears to 4-1 victory


PDT Sports Report

PORTSMOUTH, – The Shawnee State men’s soccer team used a flurry of goals in the first-half, including a 29th minute penalty kick and a 37th minute strike from the left side of the pitch by Martyn Sayer, along with Matyas Krivan’s header with just 30 seconds remaining in the first half, to roll on to a 4-1 victory against St. Francis (Ind.) on Saturday afternoon at the Shawnee Turf.

“We came out and played a quality first half,” Goodson said. “We had good scoring possessions, good scoring opportunities, and obtained good minutes off of the bench as well. It was a good continuation of the way we finished the game last Tuesday. We were the fitter team and wore them down.”

Shawnee State, who rolled to the victory with a dominating first half, recorded 16 shots total (with a dozen, or 75 percent, coming on goal) to the Cougars’ four shots and none on goal in the deciding first frame of action.

At first, however, the game started off as a grudge match. The teams would start out trading opportunities and shots on goal, but neither club could capitalize on their opportunities as Shawnee State and St. Francis would stay deadlocked at a 0-0 count through the first 21 minutes of the contest. However, it wouldn’t take any longer than that point for the attacking Bears to overwhelm the Cougars and its freshman goalkeeper, Jesse Flores.

With Shawnee State driving deep down the Indiana Tech side of the pitch, Dylan Stevens was fouled in the box by a Cougar defender to set up a penalty kick situation for Sayer, who had been two for two in his previous penalty kick attempts on the year. Like his first two attempts on the season, Sayer’s third attempt ran true as the kick beat a diving Flores on the left side of the goal to break the tie and give the Bears a 1-0 advantage.

From Sayer’s first goal forward, the Bears’ offensive attack seemed to shift into another gear, with many opportunities coming throughout the half. Even though two point-blank attempts by Stevens and Caspar Nolte were amazingly stopped by Flores, Shawnee State would break through again.

With Mark Hergenrather pushing the ball up the field, the senior passed to an advancing Sayer on the left side of the pitch. Even though the junior was faced with a difficult angle, Sayer managed to shoot a bender past another diving effort by Flores to give the Bears a 2-0 lead in the 36th minute.

A 2-0 lead would seem to be where the score would stay for the remainder of the opening half. However, Shawnee State made yet another charge down the Saint Francis end of the field, with Avery Patton getting fouled on the far right corner of the pitch to set up a corner kick. There, Patton put up a beautiful, high-arching throw-in to 6’4” forward Matyas Krivan, who directed the ball past a lunging Flores for the first goal of his young career to put the Bears ahead by a 3-0 tally with a mere 30 seconds left to go in the first half of play and cap off the scoring for the first half in the process.

The contest took on a more even-keeled approach in the second half as Shawnee State took seven shots to Saint Francis’ six, with the comfortable lead allowing the Bears to substitute frequently throughout the second half of the match.

Even with the frequent substitutions, Shawnee State was still able to strike first in the second half as Matt Williams added the first goal of his career with a shot in the 73rd minute to extend the frame to a 4-0 count and give the Bears a sizeable advantage that the Cougars could not overcome as a 76th minute goal by Sam Schlegel was the lone dent that Saint Francis could make on the scoreboard as Shawnee State would cruise on home with the 4-1 win.

Overall, Sayer would lead the way for the Bears offensively as the junior scored two goals on six shot attempts, with each of those aforementioned attempts coming on goal. Williams followed Sayer’s efforts up with a goal on two shot attempts (both coming on goal) and Krivan would finished with a goal on five shot attempts, with three of the freshman’s attempts coming on goal. Hergenrather and Patton also added a shot and an assist each in the victory, with the former’s shot attempt coming on goal.

With the victory, Shawnee State moves to 2-2 on the season and will get to defend their home turf again on Sunday afternoon as the Bears will play Saint Xavier (Ill.) at 1 p.m. at the Shawnee Turf.

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