PAINESVILLE, Ohio - The Lake Erie men's soccer team notched its
best result of the season with a 3-1 win over the Mercyhurst Lakers
on Friday (Oct. 30) afternoon at Slattery Field.
The Lakers (12-5) entered the game having just clinched the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference regular season title and ranked third in the NCAA Atlantic region.
Lake Erie (7-10-2), led by juniors Justin
Mihaley (Lowellville, Ohio/Ursuline) and Scott
Stuckey (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon), stepped up for the challenge
from the kickoff.
The work paid off in the 31st minute as Stuckey crushed a loose ball in front of the net off a rebound from a header by senior sweeper Jay Sutter (Batavia, Ohio/Amelia). The goal was Stuckey's team-leading 13th of the season.
The Storm extended its lead to 2-0 with just over three minutes to play in the first half as Stuckey delivered a low cross from the left side that Mihaley touched into the net for his second goal of the season.
Mercyhurst bounced back in the second half, controlling the ball for the first part of the stanza, capping their hold on possession with a goal in the 59th minute as Billy Colton scored his 13th goal of the season after picking up his own rebound off the right post.
From there, though, the Storm kept up with its attack and finally put the game away in the 84th minute. Stuckey received the ball off a long pass on a counter-attack. He beat two defenders on his way to goal and eventually dribbled around the keeper before giving Mihaley a ground pass, which he put away past a couple of retreating defenders.
It was Mihaley's third goal of the season and Stuckey picked up his third and fourth assists of the year.
The Storm put up a strong effort on the back line, led by Sutter and senior goalkeeper Jared Daly (Hubbard, Ohio/Ursuline). Daly stopped three shots in the winning effort.
The rest of the back line - Davey Traffis (Parma, Ohio/Parma Senior), Drew Indiano (Euclid, Ohio/Euclid), Justin Rraya (Parma, Ohio/Normandy) and Kyle Roesch (Poland, Ohio/Poland Seminary) - all played key roles in the defensive effort.
Jacob Magdich (Oregon, Ohio/Clay) and Alex Royko (Willoughby, Ohio/Willoughby South) were solid controlling the midfield for the Storm.
Lake Erie out-shot the Lakers, 14-8, in the game, while the Lakers held a 7-4 advantage on corner kicks. The Storm was whistled offsides 11 times, compared to five for Mercyhurst.
The Storm will look to build off this result to close the regular season on Sunday (Nov. 1) afternoon at 2:30 p.m. with a match with the Tiffin Dragons at Slattery Field. The game is the second of a doubleheader with the women's team. Kickoff for the women's game is slated for 12 p.m.