Men’s soccer upsets Mercyhurst and West Chester: Huskies climb to ninth in polls with three convincing victories

Connor McKay, Sports Editor

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The Bloomsburg University men’s soccer team managed to gain wins over nationally ranked Mercyhurst and West Chester in consecutive games this past weekend, along with another win over non-conference Daeman College.

The Huskies are now slated ninth in the United Soccer Coaches Atlantic Region Poll as Bloomsburg improved to a 5-4 overall record.

The Huskies win over Mercyhurst snapped a four-game losing streak against the Lakers, and Bloomsburg is now just 2-17 all-time in play against them.
Friday afternoon was the starting time of the matchup between these titans, as the Huskies battled to achieve their first PSAC victory of the season. The record of the boys improved to a 4-4 overall and a 2-2 in their conference ranking. The Huskies had only beaten Mercyhurst once in their eighteen games prior to Friday.

The only goal of the game’s first half went to sophomore Carter Luckenbaugh as he scored in the thirty-second minute on the Mercyhurst goalkeeper Martin Jarc. The goal would give the Huskies an advantage over the Lakers 1-0. This would be the first goal in Luckenbaugh’s collegiate career as he was a leader in his conference freshmen year, with an impressive 11 assists. This was the third highest number of assists in a single season of the program’s history.

While being outshot in the first half 7-4, the Huskies held the edge over Mercyhurst with a controlling 4-1 advantage in corner kicks.

The Huskies started the second half aggressively, as after about four minutes of play did junior Evan Novian nailed a header past Jarc to extend the lead 2-0. Tyler Maderia was credited with the assist on the play as his corner allowed Novian to score his first collegiate goal.

It took until the 70th minute for the Lakers to finally respond, when sophomore goalkeeper Brock Gould was bested by Mario Castel and the Huskies lead dropped to 2-1. The Huskies fired right back when junior Mike Bazadona III brought the lead up to 3-1 with his first goal of the season.

The Lakers put up their final stand in the game’s 82nd minute, when Castel tried to keep the hopes of Mercyhurst alive with his second goal of the night. Bazadona’s goal would be the nail in the coffin however, as sophomore Kacper Grycel scored a definitive final goal in the game’s last 17 seconds. Another first collegiate score, as Grycel managed to pick a loose ball deep in Laker’s territory.  

The next match the Huskies faced was against the West Chester this past Sunday, as the visiting Rams were defeated in an amazing comeback victory by Bloomsburg. Steph Pettit Stadium gave the boys their home field advantage, they now have an improved 4-4-0 record with their incredible four game win streak. The Huskies Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference record has improved as well to a 2-2-0.

It was a slow first half for the Huskies, finding themselves trailing 1-0 until the second half. The Rams scored on the Bloomsburg defense after only 23 minutes when Craig Potts shot past Bloomsburg goalie Brock Gould.

On the 72nd minute of play, junior Tyler Madeira tied the game up and put Bloomsburg on the board. Madeira made an incredible bicycle kick shot off of a throw in from sophomore Carter Luckenbaugh, making this the second goal of the season for Madeira.

Madeira showed that he was not done however, as just 1:54 from his last goal he managed to shot a free kick past the West Chester defense to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead. A West Chester foul caused the free kick, and allowed Madeira to earn his first multiple-goal scoring in his career combined with his first collegiate game-winning goal.

West Chester may have outshot the Huskies 20-7, but it was all in vain because they were not able to get past the iron curtain that is Brock Gould. Gould would have eight saves in the game, three crucial saves occurred in the 15 minutes after Madeira’s crucial game-winning goal.

The Huskies then welcomed Daemen College (N.Y.) to Steph Pettit Stadium where they extended their win streak to three with a 2-1 victory over the visiting Wildcats.

Maderia stayed red hot following being named PSAC East Athete of the Week after his performance against West Chester. The junior managed to put up a second consecutive two goal game and lead the Huskies to their third consecutive victory. It was also the second consecutive game Maderia managed to be the only Husky on the score sheet.

The Huskies are back in action on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at Shippensburg University to continue conference play. Bloomsburg returns home when  then welcome Slippery Rock University to Steph Pettit Stadium to battle the Rock on homecoming weekend. The match is set to begin at 1 p.m.