Coming off a well deserved draw against the fifth ranked team in the nation, Northern Kentucky, the men’s soccer team had their sights set Sunday afternoon on the team that knocked them out of the Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament, Bellarmine University. The GLVC playoff game ended in a 4-0 defeat at Wood Road Field, and Sunday afternoon’s rematch was a matter of déjà vu.
The game saw plenty of action early on, but there weren’t many quality scoring chances to speak for that. There were two shots on goal for Parkside in the first, opposed to four for Bellarmine, and, despite making it into the stat sheet as a shot on goal, not many of them were high quality. For the most part, these shots on goal were crosses into the box that carried in on goal.
The best scoring chance of the first half came from a Parkside free kick taken by Carlos Contreras that swung into a crowd of players and met the head of midfielder Niklas Boedts. The small flick header by Boedts went to the keeper, but truly was the best pure chance on goal for Parkside in the match.
“We had only two guys who played well, Nikl#as Boedts,” said men’s soccer head coach Rick Kilps. “We have a lot of high-energy guys, but when you make technical mistakes, all that effort is wasted.”
Entering the second half, the game honestly felt like it that could see a 1-0 final box score. Both teams were standing strong defensively, and the offenses had trouble getting in position to attack. The deadlock was broken in the sixty-first minute of play by Bellarmine’s Jack Binns, who scored off a Bradley Barraclough cross that eventually came to Binns’ feet for an easy blast through on goal.
The breaking point of this game was the second goal of the match. Parkside’s Ben Kreple took control of a ball that sputtered back towards Parkside’s defensive half. As this happened, keeper Ryan Onwukwe came off his mark in goal to blast it out of the zone. Ben Kreple, who was being pressured by Bellarmine’s Bradley Barraclough, hesitated in letting Onwukwe play the ball and chipped it around his keeper. This didn’t work at all, as Kreple’s chip around led himself too far, and Barraclough bashed in Bellarmine’s second goal into an empty net.
It was a disastrous goal to give up, and it prompted shaky play from Parkside till the very end of the match. Bellarmine found the back of the net two more times in the final twelve minutes of play. The result was the same exact score that Bellarmine eliminated Parkside in the conference playoffs last year —4-0.
“In the first half, we didn’t play great, but we defended,” said men’s soccer head coach Rick Kilps. “In the second half, we shot ourselves in the foot multiple times.”
The men’s soccer team next plays on the road, as they face St. Joseph’s College and the University of Indianapolis next weekend. Their next home games will take place on October 8th against Lewis University, and October 10th against Robert Morris University.