The Shippensburg Raiders (4-3) dropped a heartbreaking loss in the second period of overtime to the Lock Haven Bald Eagles (3-3-1) on Wednesday. Tied at 1 for the majority of the second half of regulation and for the first period of overtime, it looked like the match would end in a draw, but Lock Haven finished it off right at the beginning of the second OT period.
There was almost a very unfortunate goal conceded in the first 7 minutes, when Ship defender Devlin Mettee tried to head the ball back to freshman keeper Matt Harder, but Harder had started to come out of the goal to collect the ball and it ended up ricocheting off his body and out of play. Had it not for the keeper, the ball could have been hit into the net. Fortunately, that situation was handled.
Seven minutes later, the Red Raiders had a fantastic opportunity in the box saved by Lock Haven keeper Troy Teresak. Midfielder Jeff Ballard, who was pestering the Lock Haven defense all afternoon with fantastic dribbling skills, had the ball fall to him about five yards out from the goal and he attempted a back-heel shot. The keeper just got a finger on the ball and a defender was there to clear it off the line.
One of Ship’s two team captains returned from injury and came on as a sub against Lock Haven. Senior midfielder Derek Adams made his first appearance since picking up an injury against Slippery Rock a few weeks ago. Senior Brooke Moyer, Ship’s other captain, did not play due to an injury he received in the game against East Stroudsburg at the beginning of the month.
The first breakthrough of the match came in the 33rd minute, when a Ship corner kick was sent into the box and a Lock Haven defender accidentally headed the ball over their own keeper’s hand and into the net to make it 1-0 to Ship. Only five minutes later, Lock Haven ran down the field and forward Troy Amspacher shot the ball against the post, making Raider keeper Harder dive in that direction: the ball rebounded to Tyler Sablyak who finished it off into the empty net, tying the score at 1. This would be the last event of the half.
There were no major events for the first half hour or so of the second half. Both defenses played extremely well to keep the opposite attack out of their side of the field and when they did get through, both goalies made the appropriate saves. The only real chance of the entire half came when Jeff Ballard once again came down the wing and beat the Lock Haven defense with pace, but there was no one down with him for support so he had to take a tame shot straight at the keeper. Since there were no goals, the game had to go to overtime with the golden goal format. Not much happened for the first half of extra time, but about two minutes into the second period, Lock Haven had a nicely worked move end in a goal by midfielder Zach Hommey. This was hard on Matt Harder, since he had had such a strong game, only to give up the winning goal in overtime. After the game, Coach Spering praised Matt’s performance, saying “he came up with some big saves in the appropriate opportunities. He controlled the backline, communicated really well with the players in front of him. He’s performing well.” Coach Spering also said that this game would serve as a learning experience, helping the young team to grow as a unit. Shippensburg will visit West Chester on Saturday before returning home for a match against West Virginia Wesleyan on Wednesday.