Eagles Score Three, Hold Off Findlay For Impressive Road Win

Eagles Score Three, Hold Off Findlay For Impressive Road Win

The Ashland University men's soccer team went on the road Tuesday (Oct. 17) afternoon and beat a quality Findlay team, 3-2, in nonconference action.

The Eagles (7-7) scored the first three goals of the game against the Oilers (10-4), who suffered their first loss of the season on their home field.

AU head coach Oliver Slawson is pleased with the way his team has been able to score goals, especially Tuesday on the road against a team regionally-ranked by the United Soccer Coaches.

"We're still very much in the process of building a program. You can't do everything all at once, but scoring goals gives you a chance to win games," he said. "We have some things we need to fix, but we've come away from home and scored three goals against a team in second place in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. That's a quality win for our program."

Ashland scored two goals in quick succession in the first half, starting with sophomore Andrew Pearson, who pounded his fifth goal of the season into the left side of goal to give AU a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute. Sophomore Jordan Dees was credited with his third assist of the year.

Freshman Jacob Koehler doubled the Eagles' lead in the 27th minute, coming free on a breakaway and beating the keeper one-on-one to the left side. It was his second goal of the season.

The Eagles held that 2-0 lead going into halftime. The teams were even in shots in the first 45 minutes, 6-6.

The second half was played end-to-end as Findlay began dedicating numbers forward and the Eagles looked to counter.

Ashland ran its lead to 3-0 in the 69th minute when freshman Caleb Whitaker volleyed a shot off the post and into the net off a pass by freshman Justin Libertowski. Whitaker now has two goals and Libertowski is tied for the team lead with four assists.

Just moments later, the Oilers got a goal back on a shot by Josh Dickinson.

The Eagles continued to have chances in the final third as sophomores Thomas Ardron and Justin Kowalski each had shots after the 80-minute mark with an AU corner kick to follow. AU had a prime chance to make it 4-1 late in the game, but UF keeper Nathan Sier made what Slawson called a "world-class" save to keep the game within reach for the hosts.

Findlay applied pressure in the last five minutes with three shots before a set-piece goal brought the host to within one, 3-2, at the 88:51 mark.

"We have to give Findlay credit," Slawson said. "They showed spirit coming back. They made it difficult for us."

Freshman goalkeeper Dimitrius Karousos made six saves to earn the win for the Eagles, who surpassed last season's win total with Tuesday's result.

The Eagles will now return to Ferguson Field for its final three games of the regular season, beginning Friday (Oct. 20) at 4:30 p.m. when they welcome Northern Michigan for a GLIAC contest.