The Heidelberg men’s soccer team along with 24-year head coach Brian Haley, closed out regular season competition against the Purple Raiders of Mount Union. The Purple Raiders sat on the bubble in the Ohio Athletic Conference, needing a win and an Otterbein loss, to qualify for the conference tournament. The Student Princes, ranked fourth in the OAC, clinched a tournament birth against Muskingum, and were playing to secure the fourth seed.
Both squads played tenaciously on a wet a slick pitch for 110 minutes, but no winner was decided at the Hidden Valley Soccer Complex. The match ended in a draw, 3-3.
Freshman Andy Lacefield (North Lima/South Range) recorded the first goal of his career against the Purple Raiders, to take an early lead in the first minute.
Sophomore Hamid Shariff (Columbus/Centennial) led the team with five shots against the Purple Raiders, netting the second goal for the Berg in the 72nd minute.
Freshman Ryan Homoki (Grafton/Midview) assisted the goal with a well placed cross at Shariff’s feet.
Following Shariff’s goal, the Purple Raiders scored twice in three minutes, netting a goal in the 77th and 80th minute.
Freshman Christopher Koczak (Springboro) netted the third Heidelberg goal of the contest giving the Berg a 3-2 lead. Koczak finishes the regular season as the Berg’s leading scorer with nine goals. He has also collected one assist and 20 shots on goal with a shot on goal percentage of .500.
The Purple Raiders quickly struck back with a goal in the 87th minute, forcing a first overtime.
Mount Union kept the Student Princes shotless in the first overtime, while tallying three shots of their own. However, the Berg topped the Raiders offensively in the second overtime with four shots compared to Mount’s two. Both of the keepers played exceptionally in overtime, leaving drawn at 3-3.
Despite the three goals, sophomore goalkeeper Matthew Stevens (South Lyon, MI) tied a season high with eleven saves against Mount Union. Stevens finishes the regular season with 81 total saves and a save percentage of .743.
Converted goalkeeper Ryan Smith (Roanoke, TX/Keller) celebrated Senior Day with four shots, three of which were on target. Smith is second in scoring with six goals and has tallied three assists in 2012.
The Heidelberg men will continue their 2012 campaign when they take on the Crusaders of Capital University on Tuesday, October 30. The Berg will host the Crusaders at the Hidden Valley Soccer Complex. Kickoff is TBA.