2006 Men's Soccer
Bluffton vs. Franklin
Bluffton goes to double overtime before picking up first victory of 2006
October 7, 2006
BLUFFTON, Ohio - In a see-saw affair on an afternoon when the men witnessed the women's team break into the win column, the men's team followed suit and captured its first win, outlasting Franklin College, 3-2, in extra time. Exacting revenge for a poor showing versus the same opponent in '05, the Beavers nearly let opportunity slip through their fingers yet again, but rebounded after trailing twice to steal the win in the final moments of the second overtime.
Despite generating numerous shots on the Grizzlies' goal and preventing virtually any offensive presence from the visitors, the Beavers allowed a corner kick that led to a bizarre sequence in front of the net. While contesting the cross, several Franklin attackers stationed themselves in front of Bluffton net minder Ryan Thomas (Jamestown/Greenview) and appeared to make no attempt to play the ball while he scrambled to reach the lofted served. Following his tumble to the turf, Thomas was unable to prevent a shot that came from about twelve yards and blasted a defender before going into the roof of the goal in the 40th minute.
Following the extraordinary sequence of events, Bluffton began to play with new resolve and generated chances before equalizing on a gritty goal finished beautifully by super-sub Adrian "A.J." Scarpella (St. Mary's/Memorial) as he bent the ball around the goalkeeper's right side with the outside of his right foot. Assisting on the 45th minute goal was freshman Robert Weilbacher (Columbus/Marion-Franklin) who himself had nearly scored just moments earlier. Entering the intermission, Bluffton led in shots on goal by a count of 4-1 and had forced four corner kicks to Franklin's one.
The first twenty five minutes of the second half saw Bluffton maintaining more of the same pressure on the Grizzlies' goal but following the only shot on goal that didn't produce a goal; Franklin took advantage of defensive confusion and surged into the lead in the 70th minute with a close-range attempt. Seemingly snake bitten, Bluffton did not allow circumstances to dictate its fate. The Beavers drew level by persistently attacking the box and were awarded a questionable hand-ball penalty kick that was converted by Nate Flath (Wadsworth/Wadsworth) in the 84th minute.
During the extra time, the Beavers limited the visiting Grizzlies to zero shots on goal while producing three of their own before sending the fans home happy with the game winner in the 108th minute. High pressure on the offensive end produced a corner kick that Flath served to a towering Justin "Bobby" Rohrer (Millersburg/West Holmes) who finished with his head into the side netting. Playing in their sixth one or two goal game of the season, the Beavers finally managed to turn one in their favor.
The Beavers return to action on Tuesday, October 10, when they host HCAC rival Manchester at 4 p.m.