Oct. 31 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College men’s soccer team fell in dramatic fashion, 6-5, to Thiel College on Saturday afternoon in Presidents’ Athletic Conference play.
The Bison (5-12-2) trailed early as Thiel (3-14-2) took a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute.
Bethany responded quickly after a foul in the box gave the Bison a penalty shot in the 20th minute of action. Captain Jack Waters (Epsom, United Kingdom/Glyn School) got the nod from head coach Sean Regan, and the junior calmly knocked it in to tie the game.
The Green & White then converted on a corner kick, as Corey Ogden (Manchester, England/St Paul’s Catholic) was able to put home a loose ball to give Bethany a 2-1 advantage.
Thiel, however, was able to regroup and take the lead back with two goals from Dominic Walker in the 25th and 28th minutes.
Bethany fought back and tied the game in the 40th minute with another goal from Waters. Freshman Alec Burak (Melbourne, Fla./Eau Gallie) set Waters up with a beautiful cross to even the score. The Bison outshot the Tomcats 11-8 in the half.
The offensive spree continued early in the second half as Thiel took a 4-3 lead in the 52nd minute.
For the third time in the match, Waters beat the Tomcats goalkeeper to even the game up at 3-3. The junior captain collected eight shots on the day.
After another goal from the Tomcats, sophomore Christian Corona (Miami, Fla./Southdade Senior) headed in a pass from Burak in the 73rd minute to force another tie.
Bethany battled and fought throughout the contest, but another Tomcat goal in the 79th minute ultimately proved to be the difference. The Bison finished with 24 shots while Thiel had 15 shots.
Sophomore goalkeeper Riley Harrison (Ballarat, Australia/Ballar Grammar) amassed six saves in 90 minutes between the pipes for Bethany.
Offensively, Rey Aguilar (Homestead, Fla./South Dade) totaled four shots while Jay O’Donnell (Cardiff, Wales/Radyr Comprehensive), Ian Shephard (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) Juan Zapata (Homestead, Fla./South Dade), and Cody Levine (Washington, Pa./Bentworth) each added two shots.
The Bison finished the 2015 campaign with five wins, more than double their win total from a year ago. Bethany will look to build on a young nucleus that gained a tremendous amount of confidence and experience for the upcoming 2016 season.