Men’s soccer ends season in penalty kicks

For the second time this year, the Oakland men’s soccer team faced Wright State University for an intense physical match and lost.

The 2016 Horizon League Championship semifinal game was held Nov. 10 at Wright State’s Alumni Field in Dayton, Ohio.

The game was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, with a goal from Wright State’s AJ Paterson in the 80th minute and an equalizer from Oakland’s Austin Ricci in the 81st minute. Ricci was assisted by Chase Jabbori.

Both teams fought to take the lead, but after double-overtime draw, the game was determined by penalty kicks. Wright State won the shootout 6-5.

Wright State’s Peguy Ngatcha, named Horizon League Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, attempted four shots throughout the game, with two on goal. The Raiders had possession of the ball for most of the first half, but Oakland had a much more competent offense in the second half.

Wright State outshot Oakland 22-8 overall, starting out 14-4 in the first half.

Wright State made nine shots on goal. Oakland goalkeeper Liam McQueenie recorded seven saves, tying with his career high, and the team saved one.

Wright State’s goalkeeper, Joel Sundell, saved two of Oakland’s three shots on goal.

Four yellow cards were given out in the second half to Wright State’s Paterson, Dan Bent and Ngatcha, as well as Oakland’s Willie Maddox.

Oakland’s Nick Strack, Alex Serwatka, Nebojsa Popavic, Jabbori and Ricci scored penalty kicks in the shootout. AJ Shaw was blocked by Wright State’s goalkeeper Sundell, who finally made a save after guessing correctly but missing three times before.

Wright State’s Zach Zwiesler, Eric Lynch, Jackson Dietrich, Jake Stovall, Ngatcha and Paterson scored the penalty kicks that got the Raiders into the final round of the championship.

The Raiders will play against the University of Illinois at Chicago Flames Saturday night at Alumni Field.

“It was a great game between two good teams,” said Oakland’s head coach Eric Pogue in a GrizzVision interview. “You can put it on the calendar every year that Oakland and Wright State are going to go at it, and it’s going to be a tough game.”

The stakes were always high when these two teams played against each other in the past.

In 2014, Oakland defeated Wright State 2-1 in the Horizon League Championship finals at home. In 2015, Oakland won 1-0, defeating Wright State once again in the finals to move on to the first round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship.

In fact, the Golden Grizzlies haven’t lost to the Raiders in Division I history until this year’s regular season game on Oct. 8, when Oakland gave up a goal in the first half.

“For us to battle toe-to-toe with them, I think says a lot for how talented we are right now and what the future is for Oakland soccer,” Pogue said. “The future is bright for Oakland soccer.”


Originally published on Nov 12, 2016 @ 19:07