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Late Goal Not Enough For Soccer Men In Finale

(Posted October 29, 2006)

Fred McNeal scored on a header off a Bryan Hess free kick for the Eagles in their conference match against Widener.

Widener 2, Juniata 1 HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Playing its final match in the Commonwealth Conference the Juniata College men\'s soccer team was unable to overcome a two-goal deficit to close out its season on a winning note as the Eagles fell by a 2-1 score Sunday afternoon. Juniata closes the year 5-13 overall and 0-7 in the Commonwealth. Widener secured the second-seed for the Commonwealth postseason as the Pride raised its conference record to 5-2 and are 8-8-2 overall. Trailing 2-0 for most of the second half, Juniata began breaking through the Widener defense, culminating in a goal in the 77th minute that cut the deficit in half. Off a free kick outside the box Fred McNeal (Troy/Towanda) headed home a Bryan Hess (South Western/Hanover) pass to make the score 2-1. Juniata would continue to pressure, getting several more shots off late, but could not beat Widener keeper Marty Squicciarini for a second time. The Eagles finished with 16 shots, compared to 10 for the visitors, and outshot Widener 9-1 in the second half. But it was Widener that got started in the first half as the Pride struck with a goal in the 26th minute. A foul in the box gave Widener a penalty kick, and though Juniata keeper Mark Guthridge (DuBois/DuBois) stopped the initial shot, Travis Jones converted his own rebound to give his team a 1-0 lead. Guthridge kept the lead at 1-0 with several strong saves in the period as he registered two saves in the first half. Widener added two its lead just two minutes into the second frame with a through ball from Jones found William James who slotted it into the back of the net to make the lead 2-0. The Eagles countered, but were unable to come all the way back. Squiciarini made eight saves in goal for the Pride. Tim Penrod (Moravia/Moravian, N.Y.) played the final 45 minutes in goal for the Eagles, and did not record a save. Juniata honored five seniors before the contest who were playing in their final match for the Blue and Gold. Guthridge, Penrod, Josh Cady (Malvern Prep./Frazer), Mike Gwiazdowski (Central York/York) and Will Marshall (Upper Perkiomen/Pennsburg) all capped solid careers with strong play in the season finale. ###

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.