(PAINESVILLE, Ohio) - The No. 4 Lake Erie men's soccer team soundly defeated the Malone Pioneers in a decisive 3-0 shutout to clinch its first victory in the 2019 G-MAC tournament. With the win, the Storm now moves on to face Tiffin on Thursday for the G-MAC semifinal in Dayton, Ohio.
Despite the ultimate three-score margin of victory, the Storm started out their game over the Pioneers with a relatively slow progression in the first half. The only goal in the first half came off of the foot of senior forward Jonathon Carr in the fifth minute. Defender Luca Ragagnin was credited with the assist to Carr after crossing a perfectly placed ball from the far side of the field. Ragagnin found Carr streaking in the middle of the field, which Carr was able to convert on the opportunity. The score now gives Carr 13 goals on the season.
The Storm maintained good ball possession much of the first half despite not scoring again, and they were able to contain Malone to just one shot attempt while Lake Erie tallied seven shot attempts.
In the second half, Lake Erie began to wear the Pioneer defense down. The Storm began to increase the intensity and began attempting shots from all angles. In the 75th minute, Tom Pearson found an open Tom Akinola who was able to boot the ball in past the Malone goalkeeper. Pearson has made a positive impact for the Storm in the second half of the season. In the last three matches, Pearson has tallied two goals, three assists, and seven points.
The final score of the match came from senior Ameer Saade which pushed the lead to 3-0. Saade turned on the jets on a transition break and was able to outrun all the Pioneer defenders, after getting past the backline Saade placed the ball in the lower corner of the goal.
Tom John recorded two saves in the match as the Storm defense recorded their 13th clean sheet this year.
Those still alive in the G-MAC tournament include Ohio Valley who defeated Alderson Broaddus 3-2, Tiffin who took out Walsh 2-1, and Cedarville who dropped Findlay 1-0.
Lake Erie will now look forward to a familiar opponent the Tiffin Dragons in a semifinal matchup. Last season the Storm fell at the hands of the Dragons in the semifinals, which Tiffin was eventually crowned the 2018 Champions. In the two head to head matches against the Dragons, the Storm won both (2-0, 1-0). The semifinal match will kick off at 7:30 in Dayton, Ohio.