The St. Catharine men’s soccer team (0-1, 0-0 MSC) came into Saturday’s home opener with the hopes of gaining momentum to propel them into a tough conference schedule but had those hopes erased in the final minutes as the Oakland City Mighty Oaks (1-0) made their third goal past the diving finger tips of Patriot keeper CJ Powell.
“I thought I had it,” Powell said. “I blocked the first shot and the ball rebounded right back to their feet.”
Even with the missed save, Powell had a successful day, forcing the Oaks to miss eight of their 11 shots.
The Patriots got down early in the contest when Oakland City’s Louis Ross scored with 40:52 to go in the first half.
However, it didn’t take long for the Patriots to answer.
Tyler McKenty scored off a Sawyer Abshire assist with 29:57 to go in the half. With 9:23 to go in the half, the Patriots took the lead on a boot by Marvin Wesselburg, but it was short lived, with a goal from the Oaks coming at the 5:36 mark to tie the game at 2 apiece.
In the second half, the Patriots were able to cut the number of corner kicks surrendered from five in the first half to only one for the remainder of the game. After the tie-breaking goal by the Oaks, the Patriots had their opportunities to score but were unable to connect with multiple shots missing just wide.
Even with the loss, the Patriots feel that they were able to gain valuable experience.
“When you lose a large group of seniors, you never know what you’re going to get,” Patriots student-coach and former player Thomas Paris said. “With six newcomers all over the field, we played well.”
The Patriots will return to action Tuesday, Sept. 3 when they travel to Marian University in Indianapolis to face the Knights (2-1) and will return home to the Barber Soccer Complex Sept. 10 to face the Mid-Continent Cougars (1-3).