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Lions redeem opening loss with 4-1 win

Sophomore Clayton Flon scores the season’s first goal. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
Sophomore Clayton Flon scores the season’s first goal. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

The men’s soccer team showed well in its opening two games at the Glimore Alumni Classic tournament last week,  holding No. 1 Messiah College in a narrow 2-1 loss before rebounding with a 4-1 win over Elizabethtown College.

The Lions (1-1) benefitted from the heroics of goalkeeper junior Mike Libucha, who made a combined 18 saves against 21 shots on goal, and five different players getting on the board over the course of the tournament.

Sophomore midfielder Clayton Flon was the first to strike for the Lions this year, opening his season account after just four minutes: Flon fired a shot on goal and then finished off his own rebound for a 1-0 lead against defending national champions Messiah. 

But the Falcons made sure the College’s advantage was short-lived, as they equalized within a minute through a bomb from long distance.

Libucha made six saves in each period to keep the teams in a dead lock, but the Falcons notched the go-ahead goal 25 minutes after half-time and had no trouble closing the game out.

The Lions offense came out firing on all cyllinders in the follow-up game, a rout of Elizabethtown, as three Lions notched their first-ever collegiate goals.

Statistically, the game was close — the Lions only out-shot the Blue Jays 14-12 — but the College finished off its chances early and often, starting in the fifth minute.

Junior defender Dan McMillan sent a cross into the box that senior forward Jason O’Donnell headed into goal. While the Blue Jays equalized in the 45th minute, an Elizabethtown own goal gave the Lions a 2-1 lead heading into half-time. 

The College added to its lead in the second half, with junior midfielder Jordan Kayal and defender Joe Martinico  adding insurance goals, and Libucha made six saves to preserve the eighth win of his career.

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