Mishawaka, Ind. – The Bethel Pilots men’s soccer team scored early and often in their home opener on Wednesday, defeating Cleary University (Mich.) 4-0 on Morey Field in front of a raucous crowd in attendance.
The Pilots were brilliant in the opening session, with three shots in the first nine minutes of action. Samuel Biek (JR/Hessen, Germany) missed off the post while Rene Collazos (JR/Los Angeles, Calif.) and Pedro Patino (FR/Los Angeles, Calif.) were denied by the Cougar keeper. However, Patino would not be denied a second time, as his shot in the 12th minute found the back of the net on a beautiful assist by Tanner Gibson(SO/Acton, Calif.) to put the Pilots ahead 1-0.
The Pilots kept the ball on their offensive end for the majority of the half, adding four more shots in the next twenty minutes of action. After subbing in three minutes prior, Lucas Moreira (JR/Joao Pessoa, Brazil) got in on the scoring action on a pass from Patino in the 33rd minute to give the Pilots a 2-0 lead. Philip Keller (JR/Middlebury, Ind.) made two saves in the final 10 minutes of the first period to preserve the two-goal lead heading into the break.
The Pilots did not let up in the second stanza, as Bruno Jaeger (JR/Balneario Camboriu, Brazil) headed in a volley from Patino by way of Gabriel Lara (SO/Cuiaba, Brazil) in the 58th minute to give the Pilots a commanding 3-0 lead. And Jose Barquin (FR/Veracruz, Mexico) capped off the night on a powerful shot from 15 yards out to put the Pilots ahead 4-0. A couple of late chances by Cleary went awry as Keller kept the clean sheet in tact for the Pilots with five saves to his credit.
Pedro Patino led the way with a goal and two assists on the night, giving him seven points on the young season. The Pilots had 10 shots on goal as a team compared to Cleary’s five.
“It’s great to open the season at home with a win,” discussed Head Coach Thiago Pinto. “We are starting to build some momentum in some areas but we still have a lot of room to grow and we are committed to improve in all aspects.”
The win improves the Pilots to 2-0-0 on the season. They will travel to Fort Wayne on Saturday for their next match to take on the Indiana Tech Warriors in a 4:00 ET kick-off. The Warriors are receiving votes in the latest NAIA men’s soccer poll.