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Men's soccer unable to catch Susquehanna down the stretch

(Posted October 21, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College chipped away at Susquehanna University's lead but could never quite catch the Crusaders, as the Eagle men's soccer team dropped a 5-4 decision to the Crusaders on Tuesday afternoon on Winton Hill Field in Huntingdon, Pa.

The loss drops Juniata to 5-9-1 overall, 0-4-1 in Landmark Conference play, while league-leading Susquehanna improves to 10-4-1, 4-0-1 in the Landmark.

Susquehanna took an early lead on Jim Robertiello's chip over a charging Juniata keeper Joe Kohler (Vienna, Va./James Madison) in the 15th minute.

Juniata responded with a pair of goals in a six minute span to briefly take a 2-1 lead. David Grim (Boalsburg, Pa./State College Area) knotted the game at 1-1 in the 26th minute with a blast off a feed from Luke Waddell (Muncy, Pa./Muncy). Noah Bowers (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season and gave the Eagles the lead, with his shot into the right side of the goal from just inside the 18 yard box in the 32nd minute.

The Crusaders responded with a pair of goals of their own, and went into the intermission with a 3-2 advantage. Robertiello recorded his second goal of the afternoon in the 37th minute, with another chip that dropped just under the crossbar and over the outstretched Kohler. Isaac Laubach put Susquehanna back into the lead with a penalty kick goal in the 40th minute.

Susquehanna widened the lead to 4-2 just three-and-a-half minutes into the second half when Robertiello slid into a loose ball just ahead of Kohler, driving the ball into the goal to complete the hat trick. The Eagles responded in the 60th minute, when Grim put a shot into the lower right corner of the goal to cut the margin to 4-3.

The two teams traded goals over the final 10 minutes. Susquehanna's Matt Gawlas scored off an indirect kick in the 84th minute, expanding the Crusader lead to 5-3. Ralph Larsen tapped the ball to Gawlas, who put a blast past the Juniata defensive wall and into the Eagle goal.

The Eagles cut the lead to 5-4 with 1:03 showing, when Bowers converted a penalty kick that was awarded after a Crusader defender was called for a foul while defending Bryan Hess' (Hanover, Pa./South Western) corner kick and a subsequent shot by Drew Steffen (Lewisberry, Pa./Red Land).

Susquehanna outshot the Eagles 16-8 over the 90 minutes, and had a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks.

Kohler finished the day with six saves in the Juniata goal, while Susquehanna keeper Jed Lemon was credited with three saves.

Juniata will face Elizabethtown College on Thursday, Oct. 23, at 7:00 p.m. in Elizabethtown, Pa., before returning home for Senior Day on Saturday, Oct. 25, against the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

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