The Shippensburg University men’s soccer team had to rally to reach overtime on the road Friday night against WVIAC titan West Virginia Wesleyan but ended up on the short end of another madcap match, falling 3-2 to the Bobcats from Buckhannon.
The Raiders and the Bobcats — squads that have reached the NCAA tournament in each of the last two seasons — played to a scoreless first half before the physical play and emotion reached a fever pitch after the intermission.
The squads combined for four goals, six yellow cards and a red card in the second half.
SU fell behind 2-0, as the home squad used goals from Joe Ferraracci and Alaxandre Zidani to build its advantage by the 64th minute.
However, senior midfielder Sam Talbot converted a pair of penalty kicks in the second half — the latter coming with just 2:01 remaining in regulation and the team one man down — to get the Raiders on the scoreboard.
Talbot, whose primary work last year came as a defender, leads the team in 2012 with eight points after being held off the score sheet during his debut season.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kevin Hollasch was busy once again, as the Bobcats outshot the Raiders by a 22-6 margin. Hollasch made 10 saves – a new career high – and the most by a Raider keeper in 53 games. Senior Clay Sale had 10 stops in a rainstorm against Gannon University on Sept. 26, 2009.
An example of irony, albeit unfortunate in this case, occurred with the golden goal by the Bobcats. Jordan Halpern’s decisive strike also came with 2:01 remaining in a frame.
The Raiders will look to rebound at 5 p.m. Wednesday when it hosts West Chester from David See Field.