PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Franciscan men's soccer team battled to a thrilling 4-4 double overtime tie with AMCC opponent, La Roche, Wednesday afternoon.
"[La Roche] is a good team, it is always a battle and we play tough against them and it's always a battle," remarked head coach Christian Bobak. "We kind of knew that going in and so I am not really surprised and we fought back twice which I am really proud of. We played well in our overtime but just couldn't put it away."
After senior keeper Thomas Dosedel made four incredible saves in the first 15 minutes of action, Franciscan got its offense going and put pressure on the Redhawk back line. Freshman JP Bobak and Sebastian Koehler each fired shots that went wide before senior Leo Herrmann put a shot on goal that was deflected back into play by the La Roche goalie. Bobak corralled the rebound and fired a shot past an off-balance Austin Gorman to give FUS a 1-0 lead 23:22 into action.
Koehler wasted little time and put another shot on net but Gorman came up with another save. After a slew of subs on both sides, the Barons found themselves with the ball in their offensive zone once again. Koehler collected a loose ball and slid it under the keeper to push Franciscan's lead to 2-0 with just under 12 minutes to play in the first.
Dosedel came up with another save in the next 10 minutes to keep La Roche off of the board but a Franciscan foul just inside the box awarded a penalty kick to La Roche. Joaquin Vincent Franc pushed the ball just under a diving Dosedel for the Redhawks first goal of the game and cut the Baron lead in half, 2-1, with 1:05 to play in the first. Dosedel made a save in the final seconds of the first half to keep the Baron lead.
La Roche found its equalizer early in the second half and took its first lead of the game in the 79th minute as the Red Hawks led briefly, 3-2, with 11:53 to play.
Franciscan did not allow the lead to last as junior John Monsour scored his first collegiate goal at the most opportune time to tie the game at 3-3. Monsour found himself in the perfect spot as Koehler sent a beautiful cross into the box and Monsour headed it over the goalie's hands to tie the game.
"Sebastian put in a cross from the far side," commented Monsour. "It was the perfect pass and a pretty easy finish – all credit should go to Sebastian for that pass."
"He's being grinding super hard," commented Coach Bobak on Monsour who was named the Barons' Man of the Match. "He has been doing really well for us and makes it really hard for me to take him out. Give him a lot of credit for scoring a huge goal for us, probably one of the best goals of the season."
"My job coming in as a sub is to give the starters a break and to leave it all on the field," remarked Monsour following the match. "We knew it was going to be a hard game and we knew we had to give our best."
As the game quickly turned into a goal-fest, La Roche took back the lead in the 84th minute after an uncharacteristic breakdown of the Baron back line.
Bobak did not allow the lead to last, however, as he scored his second goal of the game. Junior Mark Fioramonti put the perfect leading pass through the La Roche defense that Bobak was able to break away and easily score with just over five minutes to play in regulation. Sophomore Joseph Leonardi's last shot of the half went just wide and a dangerous curling shot from La Roche's Ty Savochka hit the post and the two teams headed into overtime tied 4-4.
La Roche got the first two shots of overtime off but Franciscan was able to put pressure on the Redhawk goalie and forced him to make three saves. Senior Dominic Vander Woude had one of the best looks in overtime and fired a rocket at Gorman but the La Roche goalie seemed to be in the perfect position to make the save. Monsour and Bobak each got a shot off on goal in the first overtime but couldn't find the game-winner.
Bobak and sophomore Ian Baldau each had a shot to open the second overtime but it was Dosdel's turn to make a game-saving save with 4:10 left in overtime to keep La Roche off of the board.
The Redhawks looked to be building something in their offensive third but the pesky Baron defense kept anything from coming together and the two teams settled for a 4-4 tie in conference action.
Dosedel finished the day with eight saves in 110:00 minutes of action.
Leading the offense was Bobak with seven shots while Koehler followed with four. Monsour, Baldau, and Leonardi each finished the day with two shots.
"Whoever goes out there is hard for me to take off," remarked Coach Bobak. "They do so many things well. I am really happy our whole team and their effort. We can do a better job of executing in the final third. As far as the freshman go, we need them and they are really playing well."
Franciscan returns home on Saturday as the Barons welcome Pitt.-Bradford to Steubenville for a 1pm contest. Prior to the game, the Barons will honor their eight graduating players.