Bluffton Takes Appalachian Soccer Showcase Opener, 2-0

Photo by Erika Helo
Photo by Erika Helo

NEW CONCORD, Ohio -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford men's soccer team fell short in its season opener against Bluffton Friday evening in the Appalachian Soccer Showcase.

"We didn't come out ready to play in the first half and dug ourselves into a hole," Head Coach Nate Whitehurst said. "We played much better in the second half and got a lot of chances, but could never find the back of the net."

Pitt-Bradford out-shot Bluffton, 14-12.

A goal in each half was enough for Bluffton to capture the shutout win.

In the 19th minute, Colin Irwin and Ryuta Hayakawa fired shots but were unable to find the net.

10 minutes later, Bluffton broke the silence and took a 1-0 lead.

Into the second half, the Panthers mounted some offense.

At the 56-minute mark, Hunter Pennypacker sent a header attempt wide, which was followed by a shot by Alex Lincoln that went wide. 

Pitt-Bradford had a pair of chances to tie around the 70-minute mark, as Hayakawa sent an attempt wide and Sa Hun Kim fired a strike on net.

But Bluffton went on the counter and doubled its lead at the 72-minute mark.

In the final minute of the game, Lucien Kalkhof sent a header attempt on net that was saved by the Bluffton keeper, narrowly missing the first goal of the Panthers' season.

Derrick Brock started in goal for the Panthers, making four saves on six shots on goal.

Hayakawa and Kim led the Panthers with three shots each. Ugwunna Amadi fired twice, while T.J. Magro, Lincoln, Kalkhof, Irwin, Pennypacker and Nicholas DiStefano rounded out the Panthers 14 shots with one apiece.

Each team was whistled for 10 fouls.

Up next, the Panthers will continue action in the Appalachian Soccer Showcase Saturday against the tournament host Muskingum.