Lions Fall in Season Opener to Blue Jays

Lions Fall in Season Opener to Blue Jays

Story by Lindsey Nester 

Elizabethtown, Pa. - Last week the Penn State Harrisburg men's soccer team was picked to finish sixth in their 2015 season.  Today the Lions proved they are going to be a strong competitor in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) in their opening match against Elizabethtown College.

The Blue Jays scored an early goal off of a misjudged clearance by the Lions defense. Jeff Light scored Elizabethtown's first goal of the game and season. Following the goal, Aaron Kline (Myerstown, Pa./ Elco) led a counter attack that led to a strong scoring opportunity which was saved by the Blue Jays goalie, Rodrigo Barrera.

A few minutes later, Shane Votto scored the Blue Jays second goal from right outside the penalty box.  He was assisted by Gilbert Waso and Cal Graziano. Throughout the first half the Lions had several scoring opportunities from corners and free kicks around the box, but were unable to find the back of the net.

In the 52nd minute of play, Elizabethtown was awarded a penalty kick after a player was taken down inside of the box. Jack Rudy stepped up to take the kick but goal keeper Brandon Hoover (Gap, Pa./ Pequea Valley) made a great save deflecting the ball wide for one of his strongest saves during a quality performance for the Junior goalkeeper.

As the second half proceeded the Lions seemed to get a second wind of urgency. They began to play more aggressive and this led to their first goal of the season in the seventy third minute. Jonathan Vanaskie (Shamokin, Pa. /Shamokin Area) got the Lions on the board with the assist coming from teammate Aaron Kline.  Unfortunately, the Lions were unable to find an equalizer before the last whistle blew.

 "Overall I'm very pleased with our performance." Said Head Coach Seamus Donnelly, "It was a tough loss, but we have to remember that Etown have been a top program for a long time, are well-coached and have some excellent players. We will learn from this and move on, as we always do. I think this group has the makings of being very, very good, and I'm already looking forward to tomorrow's training!"

Penn State Harrisburg will return this Saturday at home against Delaware Valley kicking off at noon.