By Ronald Hanaki
On Saturday, despite goals from sophomore forward Christian Bukowski and sophomore midfielder James McMahon and a strong performance in goal from freshman goalkeeper Will Boerema, ESU could not overcome Lock Haven’s offense and lost 4-2 to the Bald Eagles at Hubert Jack Stadium.
The game was action-packed from the start. At the 1:08 mark, Bukowski’s shot hit the goalpost for ESU’s first scoring threat.
Bukowski would make good with his second chance. At the 5:23 mark, the Warriors drew first blood when Bukowski’s second shot hit the crossbar and just dropped over the line for ESU’s first goal. Bukowski’s sixth goal of the young season gave the Warriors an early 1-0 lead over the Bald Eagles.
At the 21:14 mark, a foul by the Warriors gave the Bald Eagles a free kick. Despite facing a four-man wall, Lock Haven junior forward Troy Amspacher’s 20-yard kick hit the near post and bounced in for the equalizer. The game was tied 1-1.
Another foul by ESU gave Lock Haven a second free kick. At the 37:00 mark, LHU senior midfielder Asher Klahold got off a beautiful 25-yard free kick that got past ESU’s Boerema to make it 2-1 Lock Haven.
Less than half a minute later, LHU’s Klahold got off another shot from point-blank range that was saved by ESU’s Boerema. Boerema’s spectacular save prevented the Bald Eagles from leading by two goals and kept the Warriors in the game.
Just before intermission, ESU sophomore midfielder Shaquille Stephenson and Lock Haven senior midfielder Jacob Oldaker and sophomore midfielder Tyler Shumaker all picked up yellow cards.
At halftime, Lock Haven had outshot ESU 8-6, but ESU held a 5-3 edge in corner kicks. ESU’s Boerema had three saves, and two of those saves were from point-blank range. The freshman goalkeeper was almost single-handedly keeping the Warriors in the game.
This season, the Warriors have been a second half team. Coming into this game, ESU had outscored its opponents 16-3 after halftime, so the Warriors had every reason to be optimistic about its chances of winning the game with a strong second half performance.
Following halftime, Lock Haven was awarded another free kick at the 59:22 mark. LHU’s Klahold’s shot to the near post was caught by Boerema for his fourth save of the game.
There was a bizarre play at the 66:44 mark. LHU sophomore goalkeeper Troy Teresak looked like he was just playing with the ball and ESU’s McMahon somehow got a foot on the ball and poked it in the back of the net for an inexplicable goal. After the miscue, Teresak was seen holding his head in his hands, but the game was now leveled at 2-2.
There was a controversy at the 70:35 mark, when LHU’s Klahold took a shot that went wide, but the officials ruled that Klahold had been fouled from behind and awarded Lock Haven a penalty kick.
Five players from ESU were seen wildly protesting the call, but LHU’s Amspacher calmly took the penalty kick and scored. LHU now had a 3-2 lead over ESU with two free kicks and one penalty kick.
At the 70:42 mark, LHU redshirt senior Jonathan Howitt replaced Teresak as the goalkeeper for Lock Haven.
At the 77:42 mark, Lock Haven’s Oldaker took another free kick that was punched out by Boerema for his fifth save.
Later, Lock Haven would add an insurance goal. With 7:06 left in the game, Lock Haven had a 5-on-3 scoring chance. LHU sophomore midfielder Zack Hommey looked like he was going to hit a cross, but he bent it to the near post past Boerema for Lock Haven’s fourth goal of the game. Lock Haven was now up by two goals with less than seven minutes of playing time left.
ESU’s best scoring chance came at the 84:23 mark. ESU senior forward Casey Choffy’s 25-yard shot was saved by the right arm of Lock Haven’s Howitt, but the result was a corner kick for ESU.
ESU junior midfielder Andrew McGinley took the corner, but his kick was a harmless floater that was caught by a confident Howitt.
ESU would threaten again at the 87:52 mark, but McGinley’s shot went far wide of the goalpost.
The final score was 4-2 Lock Haven. This was ESU’s third straight loss in PSAC play.
Coming into the game, Boerema had only allowed three goals this season, but he gave up four goals on Saturday.
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