Men’s soccer knocked out of playoff picture

ColeKropnick.Bill Smith

Shippensburg’s Cole Kropnick leads the team with 10 goals on the season. 

A rough week and a half saw the Shippensburg University men’s soccer team lose three Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) matchups, while only picking up one win. Four games in nine days proved too much for the Raiders to stay fit.

Last Friday, the Raiders took on the California University of Pennsylvania at home and came away with a 1–0 win in an uneventful game. There was a total of four shots on target in the entire match and the only goal was scored by Isiah Dorsey for his first collegiate goal.

Dorsey finished a cross from Erik Espinoza in the 34th minute at close range to give the Raiders the lead. Neither team looked like they would score again after the goal. SU keeper Garret Watson earned his third consecutive save with two saves in the tie.

The following game was away at Millersville University against the No. 22 Marauders. The Raiders were unable to register more than one shot on goal and were shut out, 2–0. The game was a big step for SU if the team was to make it into the playoff picture. 

Bill Smith - Shippensburg University

Andrew Blade pursues a Mercyhurst defender, looking to create some offense.

Millersville scored both its goals inside 15 minutes. Watson made eight saves in the game, including seven in the first half, but was credited with the loss.

The Raiders tried to pick themselves back up on the road against West Chester University on Wednesday, but once again could not get their offense going, losing 1–0. The Golden Rams were ranked No. 13 in Division II, so the Raiders had their hands full, but the defense was strong with Watson once again net. Watson added four more saves to his tally, making it 22 in five PSAC matchups.

SU held strong for 80 minutes, but finally gave in with nine minutes to go. For the second game in a row, the Raiders only had one shot on goal. 

With the loss, the Raiders were three points behind Seton Hill University for the final PSAC playoff spot, with Seton Hill owning the head-to-head advantage, with only two games to go. The only way SU had a chance of making it into the playoffs was if it won both of its last two games.

Bill Smith - Shippensburg University

The Raiders’ Isiah Dorsey fights for the ball to win back possession for SU.

The Raiders’ penultimate game was against Mercyhurst University on Homecoming Saturday. It was do or die for the Raiders if playoffs were going to be in the picture. It was not meant to be though, and SU fell 4–0 to end any remaining hopes.

The team fought valiantly, and keeper Matt Harder had eight saves in his return to the net, but the offense was outshot 12–2. The team also committed 19 fouls as opposed to Mercyhurst’s nine.

SU will conclude its season Saturday on Senior Day against Slippery Rock University at David See Field. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. and defenders Jamie Blair and Jan Striewe will be honored before the game.

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