Granville, OH – Fresh off of their first victory of the 2012 season, head coach Brian Haley and the rest of the Heidelberg men’s soccer team traveled to Granville, Ohio to square off against the Big Red of Denison University. A tremendous offensive effort in the second half gave Heidelberg the four goals needed to pull out a 4-3 victory.
Freshman Chris Koczak (Springboro) had an outstanding performance against the Big Red. He recorded two goals on two shots, and served up an assist early in the second half that kept Heidelberg within striking distance.
“Chris played with tenacity,” said Haley. “It normally takes freshmen about six or seven games to get used to the pace of collegiate soccer, but there is no doubting his abilities,” added Haley.
Freshman goalkeeper Trent Lacer (Oak Harbor) got the start in goal for Heidelberg, marking his first collegiate. Lacer recorded four saves on the evening. Sophomore goalkeeper Matthew Stevens (South Lyon, MI.) came on in the second half. He faced 10 shots, and tallied three saves for the Student Princes.
In the 27th minute, Denison jumped out to a 1-0 lead with an unassisted goal. A penalty kick in the 46th minute, would give Denison a 2-0 lead early in the second half.
Down 2-0, it was the foot of Koczak that closed the gap in the 48th minute.
Three minutes later, senior center forward Ryan Smith (Roanoke TX/Keller) scored his third goal of the season when he connected with a Koczak assist.
“Smith has been around the league for three years now, and he is still thought of as an OAC goalkeeper, but he is a real player for us at center forward. He has a winning mentality and he is an invaluable player for us,” said Haley.
Denison found the back of the net in the 61st minute to take a 3-2 lead. However, sophomore Tyler Eoff (Oak Harbor) found the equalizer for Heidelberg when he booted in a cross from junior defender Erik Furst (Columbus/Upper Arlington).
Koczak topped off a career performance by netting the game-winning goal in the 81st minute to send the Berg to a 4-3 victory.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” said Haley. “We played an average first half but came out in the second half and showed character by proving that we have the ability to play and score goals,” he added.
‘Berg men’s soccer will return to action on September 15, against Ohio Wesleyan University. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 pm at Hidden Valley Soccer Complex, in Tiffin.