(Posted August 9, 2004)

The Juniata College men's soccer team earned the second victory of its Germany trip on Saturday afternoon as the Eagles topped the West Falia-Gemen seventh division team by a 3-2 score. This came after the West Falia-Gemen sixth division team handed the Eagles a 6-0 set-back on Friday evening.

On Saturday the Eagles came out refreshed and ready to play. Jeff Gehring scored a first-half goal as Juniata went into the halftime knotted at one goal apiece. Nathan Pugh manned the goal for Juniata in the first 45 minutes, as he limited the opposition to one score. Then in the second half, Will Spigler converted a direct kick to put Juniata up by a 2-1 score. Rob Bowswer finished off Juniata's third goal off an assist from Josh Cady to give the Blue and Gold a 3-1 edge. The German side added a late goal against Juniata keeper Tim Penrod, but Penrod and the Eagle defense held on to capture the victory.

The match Friday night was a different story. A time miscalculation saw the Eagle team get directly off the bus after a seven and a half hour ride and promptly hit the field against the sixth division side. Facing a squad comprised of older, more experienced players and feeling worn down from the travel, Juniata was dealt a 6-0 loss.

Despite the frustrating loss, the Eagles have seen strong play from a number of individuals on the trip. The coaching staff has been particularly pleased with the emergence of several players who saw limited playing time during the 2003 season. Chad and Kyle McClure have been solid parts of the Juniata defense during the trip, which could lead to good things from them in their sophomore campaign this fall. Veteran Matt Raup has stepped into the stopper role and has performed admirably during the trip, while Thomas Hursthouse has joined Bowser to form a potent duo in the midfield.

Along with the successes on the field, the trip has seen some wonderful camraderie between the Juniata team and their German counterparts. Following each match, the teams have gotten together for a cookout on the field and have taken the time to chat and get to know each other. The mayor of Gemen was present at both of Juniata's matches over the weekend, and the local paper has run stories about the Eagle team.

Following the tournament, the Eagles visited a local University on Sunday. The school is one that Juniata shares a relationship with, and the players got to have lunch with the Dean and see the campus.

There is one more match on Juniata's schedule as the Eagles will play the B-Division youth team of the Bundesliga FC Schalke 04 team on Tuesday. It's a great opportunity for Juniata to play a high level club that is in the process of celebrating its 100th anniversary.

The Eagles will then relax and pack on Wednesday before departing Thursday.

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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.