Sailfish Men's Soccer Hands Saint Leo University First Home Loss Since 2007

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University Sports Information Director

Kyle Crouse (Pictured) Tallied the First Two Goals on Friday Evening as PBA Took Down Saint Leo University 3-1. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Kyle Crouse (Pictured) Tallied the First Two Goals on Friday Evening as PBA Took Down Saint Leo University 3-1. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

SAINT LEO, Fla.- Coming off a tie and a loss in their previous two outings, the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s soccer team got moving back in the right direction in a big way on Friday evening at the rain-soaked University Field on the campus of Saint Leo University. The Fish utilized two goals in the first-half by junior Kyle Crouse and held on for a much-needed 3-1 victory over the Lions.

Now 4-1-1 on the season, the Sailfish provided the Lions with their first home loss since October 13th, 2007 when SLU dropped a 5-1 decision to Lynn University as they dropped to 3-2-0 in 2009. Obviously a tough place for teams to play, PBA head coach Jose Gomez was needless to say very pleased at this teams effort.

“We responded to some tough challenges and we came together really well. I’m proud of the guys efforts and our run of play was solid considering we had some new people in there,” said Gomez.

Freshman Tumi Magadlela and Juan Villagrana both made their 2009 debuts with Magadlela suffering a preseason injury that kept him out of the lineup until tonight.

The match began with beautiful weather, however that would quickly change as heavy rain came upon the teams at University Field midway through the first half. This has been a trend that seems destined to follow the Sailfish wherever they go this season after already enduring two rainouts and another rain-soaked contest as well.

Crouse got the scoring started for PBA in the 14th minute as freshman Matt Crumb won a 50-50 ball at the midfield and promptly slotted the ball forward to the feet of the speedy Crouse for the match’s first goal.

Seemingly content with entering halftime with a 1-0 lead, the Sailfish played hard until the final whistle as Crouse took advantage of a failed clearance by the Lions after Cheyne Roberts served a ball into the box at the 44:47 mark to leave the Fish leading 2-0 entering intermission. Crouse fielded the ball at the top of the 18-yard line and blasted home a bomb into the back of the net 13 seconds before halftime.

Still not satisfied as the rain began to lighten up in the second-half of play, the Fish battled back and forth with the Lions throughout the early part of the second-half as PBA senior goalkeeper Joe Yurchak was tested numerous times only to see him stymie any scoring opportunities by SLU.

Senior Johnathan Clark made it 3-0 for PBA just short of the 63rd minute when he connected on a well-placed free kick that found the back of the net and gave PBA a comfortable lead. 

Saint Leo would not be shutout however as they earned their only goal of the night off a set piece just short of the 80th minute. Bruce Cutler found Ruud Van Der Sar for the goal.

A relatively clean game was played until the final 15 minutes as both teams were awarded cautions including a red card given to Saint Leo’s Leonardo Noqueira in the 86th minute.

PBA trailed in both shots and corner kicks on the night with Saint Leo holding the 14-13 and 10-3 advantage respectively but it would be the Fish who would make the most of their opportunities on this night as they improved their NCAA South Region record to 3-1-0.

Joe Yurchak earned his fourth win of the season as he tallied seven saves while Erik Mozzo collected four saves for SLU.

PBA will have the remainder of the week off as they will begin preparations for their next match which is set to take place against Lynn University on Tuesday, September 22nd in Boca Raton, Florida at 3 p.m.

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