By Cory Nidoh
The ESU Men’s Soccer team was unable to extend their season, failing to reach the PSAC Tournament after dropping their final two games of the season, 2-1 and 2-0, to Slippery Rock and California respectively.
The loss against Slippery Rock had playoff implications for the Warriors as ESU was one of the 11 schools still in contention to claim a spot in the six-team PSAC Tournament.
It didn’t start off well for the Warriors when the “Rock” scored in the first two minutes of the game to take a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, senior midfielder Otavio Caproni tied the game with his second goal of the season.
It was set up by freshman forward Christian Bukowski with his team best fifth assist.
However, the Warriors would give up the lead three minutes later when Stephen Donnelly scored in the 50th minute.
Despite their best effort, the Warriors were unable to come back.
With the loss, it marks the fourth consecutive season ESU failed to make the PSAC Tournament.
The last time they made it to the tournament was back in 2010 when they finished with an overall record 13-6-1 and ended in tough loss to Shippensburg falling 3-2 in penalty kicks.
Saturday, the Warriors lost on Senior Day to California. Midfielders James Blick and Caproni, ESU’s two seniors, were recognized prior to the game. Blick, a former player for the Mountain Valley Conference championship teams at Pleasant Valley, appeared in four games this season.
Caproni, a native from Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, finished his senior year scoring twice in nine games this year.
ESU has a young nucleus of players with three freshmen in Bukowski, Keelby Espinola and Enrique Ruiz were a part of five Warriors that started in all 18 games this season.
The Warriors’ finished the season with a 5-12-1 (3-8 PSAC) record and the five wins tied the team’s most wins since 2011 and equaled the combined win total from 2012 and 2013.
The Warriors will look to improve on their 5-12-1 (3-8) record when they take the field next season.
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