First Half Firepower Leads Pilots Over Maple Leafs
Mishawaka, Ind. – The Bethel men’s soccer team returned to action on Wednesday night and welcomed the Goshen Maple Leafs for the Pilots’ Crossroads League home opener and came away with an impressive 3-1 victory. The Pilots improve to 7-2-2 with the win and 1-0-1 in the Crossroads League.
Ian Billin got the scoring started for the Pilots by finishing off a goal on the pass from Henry Schaumer in the 9th minute of the game to take an early 1-0 lead. The Maple Leafs turned the pressure on the Pilots, getting five shots on goal in the next 25 minutes but Philip Keller and the defense denied the Maple Leafs the equalizer every time.
In the 36th minute, Tanner Gibson fired one in from deep and surprised the Maple Leaf defense by finding the back of the net to take a 2-0 advantage heading into intermission. Jose Barquin and Samuel Biek were credited with assists on the play.
The Pilots and Maple Leafs played even through most of the second half, until Goshen’s Uriel Macias beat Keller to net the visitors’ lone goal in the 68th minute. The Pilots would not let that goal go unanswered as Samuel Biek measured up a shot off a pass from Danny Arreguin and beat the goalkeeper off the post and in to regain a two-goal advantage at 3-1 with time winding down in the 76th minute.
The Pilot defense held strong with four more saves in the final six minutes of the match to secure their first Crossroads League win of the season. Keller tallied 7 saves with the defense being credited for four more to deny the Maple Leafs a shot at the victory. Bruno Jaeger, although unable to break through, led the Pilots with three shots on goal.
“I thought we were very sharp and effective offensively in the first half,” stated Head Coach Thiago Pinto. “I was happy with the energy we showed tonight and the chances we created. I thought Goshen did well in pressing in the second half and our defense did a great job in sustaining pressure. We can still do better in key moments of the game and we will work hard to build momentum for Saturday.”
The Pilots return to the pitch on Saturday when they welcome in Marian to Morey Field for a 5:00 pm kick-off.