Sept. 18 – BETHANY, W. Va. - Despite a two-goal effort from senior Arkangelo James (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin), the Bethany College men’s soccer team fell, 3-2, to the Pioneers of Marietta College on Wednesday evening at Bison Stadium.
Just four minutes into the first half, James received a nice touch pass from teammate Lamine Balde (Guinea, Pa./Williams L. Sayre) in the box and placed it on a nice touch past the keeper for the first goal of the game and a 1-0 lead.
The Pioneers equalized the score in the 28th minute when Marietta sent the ball long and it was chased down by Wesley Riley. After a botched clear attempt by the Bison allowed Riley to gain possession, the junior put it past keeper Callum Appleby (Maidstone, United Kingdom) to tie the game at 1-1.
The Pioneers would then notch the go-ahead tally in the 38th minute, once again off the foot of Riley. After a great save by Appleby deflected the ball to the left of the box, the ball was won by Andrew Matakovich, who found the feet of Riley. Riley was then able to put it past a Bison defender, into the open net to put the Pioneers on top, 2-1. The teams would go into the half with the Bison trailing by the same score.
In the 64th minute, the Pioneers added another goal. Off a free-kick from the far-side, 45-yard line by Scott Elimann, Riley made a good touch pass to the attacking Lucas Eick, who beat the keeper on the short side of the net to put Marietta up, 3-1.
James and Balde would strike again in the 70th minute to cut the lead in half. After collecting the ball and streaking down the sideline, Balde crossed the ball from the 20 yard-line to James, who volleyed the ball into the net without letting it touch the turf. James’ 11th goal of the season cut the Marietta advantage to 3-2.
Over the final 20 minutes of regulation the Bison managed four more shots, putting two on goal, including a great chance on a header by James, but Bethany could not complete the comeback and fell by the score of 3-2.
Over the course of the contest the two teams played evenly, with each team registering 14 shots. The Pioneers put eight shots on goal while the Bison registered seven. The teams also played even on corners, with each team collecting three in the contest.
For Marietta, Riley led the way, notching two goals, one assist and five points in the contest. Eick notched a score and Scott Eilmann finished with an assist.
For the Bison, it was a great day for James and Balde as James notched four points, scoring both goals for Bethany, while Balde added two assists in the contest.
With the two scores, James is now just two shy of third place on the all-time goals list. James now has 59 over the course of his career, just two behind Sandy Mick’s 61.
Balde, who came into the contest tied for third in the conference in total points, now has 13 on the season.
In goal, Appleby was saddled with the loss for just the first time in his last three games, as he made five stops on eight shots on goal.
The Bison will be back in action on Saturday, September 21, when they visit Carnegie Mellon University. The match with the Tartans is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kick-off.