2008 Men's Soccer
Manchester 3, Bluffton 2
Beavers battle with eight players before falling to Manchester, 3-2
By: Brandy Bidlack, sports information assistant
October 21, 2008
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's soccer team fell to HCAC rival Manchester, having only eight Beavers left on the field with 12 minutes to play on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008, before the Spartans took the victory with 16 seconds left in the match. Bluffton dropped to 7-7-1 on the season and 3-3 in the Heartland Conference. Manchester improved to 7-8-2 on the season, with a 4-1 mark in the conference.
Freshman Steve Rucki (Killbuck/West Holmes) scorched the back of the net at the 18:06 mark to give Bluffton the early lead with his eighth goal of the season. However, Manchester responded just ten minutes before halftime with a goal from Micah Sollenberger.
Just two minutes later Nolan Phelps (Monroe/Lemon-Monroe) received a questionable red card just outside the penalty box, putting the Beavers down one player. With less than five minutes to go in the opening stanza, senior Nate Flath (Wadsworth/Wadsworth) bent the ball just inside the far post off a free kick, giving Bluffton a 2-1 lead at the break.
Starting the second half, Spartan Ben Cole found the back of the net thanks to a penalty kick at the 63:34 mark. The intensity of the game picked up as Daniel Tinch (Middletown/Madison) and Rucki were ejected from the game when they collected their second yellow cards with over 12 minutes to play. At the 78:16 mark, Brian Good (Elida/Elida) denied the Spartans with an incredible save on another Manchester penalty kick to keep the Beavers alive with only eight players on the field.
With just sixteen seconds left in the contest, Heriju Gadzama scored the game-winning goal following a rebound on a Manchester corner kick as the Spartans defeated the Beavers 3-2 and picked up their fourth HCAC win of the 2008 season.
Steve Rucki led the Bluffton offense with four shots. Nate Flath and Louie Cancasci (Twinsburg/Twinsburg) each had three shots in the contest. Sophomore Brian Good picked up six saves.
Bluffton generated 13 shots while Manchester had 15 in the match. Both teams managed six saves, while Manchester forced seven corner kicks and limited Bluffton to only two. The Beavers were whistled for 23 fouls and awarded six cards, three red and three yellow. The Spartans were called for 19 infractions and received two yellow cards.
Bluffton returns to action when the Beavers travel to Hanover College on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008. The Heartland Conference contest is slated to start at 1 p.m. following the women's match.