Men’s soccer posts two shutouts and improves to 5–1

Junior defender Brandon Peck (No. 12) fronts a Geneva College player during Wednesday’s home game. (credit: Josh Smith/Editor-in-Chief) Junior defender Brandon Peck (No. 12) fronts a Geneva College player during Wednesday’s home game. (credit: Josh Smith/Editor-in-Chief)

After falling to Dickinson College in the final seconds of the game on Sept. 7, the men’s soccer team rallied back with a last-minute goal on Wednesday night against Geneva College.

In the 90th minute, senior Chris Wysocki headed a cross from first-year midfielder Tristan Lockwood into the side of the net for the only goal of the 1–0 game.

The play started when Lockwood sent a corner kick into a crowded Geneva penalty box. A Geneva defender headed it out to junior defender Mark Nicholas, who played the ball back to Lockwood on the wing.

“They were all looking at the ball go out wide, and I changed my run and was able to cut in front of the defenders. Tristan played a great ball in,” Wysocki said.

The Tartans, playing at home, were the faster and more composed team, dominating possession and creating goal-scoring opportunities.

Moments before his game-winning goal, Wysocki — after a give-and-go with senior forward Max Tassano — had a clear shot at goal from the left side of the penalty box, only for a Geneva defender to deflect it for a corner.

Tassano also had several opportunities to score. In the 70th minute, his goal off a free kick from senior defender Ben Bryant was waved offside.

Until Wysocki’s goal in the 90th minute, the theme of the night was missed chances.

Despite outshooting Geneva 16 to 11 and taking 17 corner kicks to Geneva’s six, the Tartans were unable to convert their chances, as their shots flew wide or soared above the crossbar.

“Our guys, for the most part, continue to create ample opportunities. Because we’re creating opportunities, the next step is obviously finishing them.... But it’s promising that we’re creating the chances,” said assistant coach Michael Piranian.

Averaging close to 19 shots per game, the Tartans have scored only one goal in each game.

“We’re clearly creating the opportunities, but not finishing them,” Wysocki said. “I’m sure the goals will come. We just got to keep working at it.”

The unsung hero of Wednesday’s game was senior keeper Christopher Madden, who finished with six saves.

In the 53rd minute, Madden made an instinct save on a Geneva shot from the left side of the box, deflecting the ball wide with his left hand.

“[He] did a good job of not only communicating with his backs, but with his goal kicks and punts that were giving us a chance to contest,” Piranian said.

“We’ve had four shutouts so far. [The goalkeepers] are a big part of that along with our back four,” Wysocki said.

Madden posted another shutout on Saturday, as the Tartans beat Allegheny College 1–0 on the road.

Tassano scored in the 34th minute off a pass from Wysocki, and the Tartans once again dominated the game, outshooting Allegheny 15–5. Only two of Allegheny’s shots were on goal.

The shutout continues the Tartans’ streak of 1–0 victories and improves their record to 5-1.

The Tartans will next play Washington & Jefferson College on the road this Wednesday at 7 p.m.