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Point Park men end fall season with 3-1 home loss to Asbury (Ky)

Photo Courtesy Point Park University Athletics

From Point Park University Athletic Department report

Point Park University men’s soccer ended its fall season with Tuesday’s 3-1 home loss to Asbury (Ky.) University at Highmark Stadium. The Pioneers will take a record of 6-3 overall, 6-2 River States Conference into the spring season.

Tuesday’s matchup was a battle of two teams that are both in the top half of the RSC standings. Asbury (6-1-1, 5-1-1) had a strong defensive effort to stay with WVU Tech (6-1 RSC) and Rio Grande (Ohio) (6-1 RSC) with just one conference loss while the Pioneers were saddled with their second.

Point Park had more chances and more shots, but it was Asbury that came out on top. The Pioneers had a 26-11 shot advantage on the day, which included 16 shots on goal. While Asbury didn’t have as many shots, they were quality in nature with 10 of them on goal and three finding the back of the net.

The Pioneers were able to get the ball into the attacking third most of the day. When they got there, Asbury’s defensive line tightened up and blocked many shot attempts before they were able to get through. When the shots did get through, Eagles’ goalkeeper Ethan Mayo was there for a big game with 13 saves. Asbury also had two team saves to prevent a couple of goals.

Point Park had a 1-0 lead on Geert Bijl’s goal in the 32nd minute. The Pioneers had not been able to put many crosses through on the ground, so that time, Tadeo D’Apollo lobbed one into Bijl on the 6-yard line. Bijl headed it to the far post for the lead.

Asbury picked up the attack before half and tied things up at 1-1. The Eagles beat the Pioneers down the side and then crossed it into Owen Sigey for the goal.

Asbury’s two second-half goals were the difference. Sam Henderson made the score 2-1 in the 50th minute. The Eagles made it a two-goal lead on Fionn McCartan’s goal in the 67th minute.

The Pioneers kept pushing for goals, but they could not dent the scoreboard again. Some of the best chances down the stretch were second-half sub Niyonyishu Heritier firing one from the door step but Mayo somehow blocking it and then Lloyd van Wees’ free kick that curved inches above the crossbar. Asbury went a man down the last 10 minutes after a red card, but the Eagles still held strong.

Point Park has one remaining RSC game versus Rio Grande (Ohio), which will be pushed to the spring season. The Pioneers will not play again until next semester. A potential slate of non-conference, regular-season games in the spring is to be announced. The RSC Championship will be April 8-13 with the Pioneers assured a spot.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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