2014 Men's Soccer
Bluffton 2, Wittenberg 1
September 23, 2014
BLUFFTON, Ohio - It was all blue skies and sunshine over Bluffton on Tuesday, Sept. 23, as the men's soccer team controlled the pace in a stunning 2-1 victory over Wittenberg University, a squad that stood 5-2-1 following three straight victories over Heartland Conference schools Earlham, Defiance, and Mount St. Joseph by a cumulative score of 9-0. The Beavers improved to 2-6 on the season, while the Tigers slipped to 5-3-1 overall.
In minute 30, Bluffton took advantage of a chance in front of the goal when junior defender Ryan Johnson-Evers (Muskego, Wis./Muskego) went to the ground while finding the back of the net for his first career score as the Beavers went up 1-0 and the crowd roared in approval. Bluffton continued to press Wittenberg with both teams firing six shots in a first period that ended 1-0 in favor of the home team.
The second half was more of the same as Bluffton's defense turned away the visitors time and again. When Wittenberg finally cracked the shell, Jeff Yoder (Goshen, Ind./Bethany Christian) cleaned up the mess, picking up six saves in the final 45 minutes for his second win of the season. Senior Ben Knotts (Carrollton) drove home a deep free kick from just across midfield at the 71:05 mark, giving the Beavers a much-needed insurance tally as Wittenberg finally got on the scoreboard in minute 83 when Josh McErlean found Alexandre Veuthey for his third goal of the season.
With the visitors in need of another scoring opportunity, the Beavers continued to grind down the clock by pushing the ball to corners. The Tigers were unable to get at the Bluffton defense following their goal as the Beaver faithful erupted when the final horn sounded.
Yoder finished with nine saves in the contest. John Eckenrode (Northwood/Millbury Lake), Appiah Adubofour (Kumasi/Ghana) and T. J. Kline (Mogadore/Lake Center Christian) all contributed with two shots in the victory. Wittenberg finished with a 15-10 edge in total shots, while Bluffton was whistled for three more fouls (16-13). The final score told the story, however, as Bluffton was rewarded for its effort on the pitch!
The Beavers will look to add to their win total on Saturday, Sept. 27 when they travel to Waynesburg. The match, which had originally been scheduled for 4 p.m., has been moved up to 2 p.m. and it will follow the women's contest with the Yellow Jackets.