10-man Bluefield overpowers Pikeville late with 6-4 win in MSC play
The Rams earn its second victory in the Mid-South Conference play, its the first time since 2007 that the men's soccer program has won more than one conference game in a season.
Sports Information Department BC
October 10, 2012
PIKEVILLE, Ky. -- The Bluefield College men's soccer team pulled away late in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night earning their second Mid-South Conference victory of the season with a 6-4 result over the University of Pikeville with a resilient team effort. Box
The Rams played down a player for more than 35 minutes of the match, while still outshooting Pikeville 33-13 on the night.
While Bluefield held a majority of the possession, the Bears were first to tally a goal in the contest at the 16th minute mark.
Less than a minute later, the Rams responded by equalizing the match at 1-1 which would become a theme throughout the entire match.
The quick play of Sophomore Michael Callaghan pay dividends early and often for Bluefield, resulting in the first goal for the Rams. He quickly drove down the right flank beating the defender and sliding the ball into the 18-yard box for Midfielder James Gunn. Gunn fought through two defenders to power a low-driven ball into the right corner making it 1-1.
It would take both teams another twenty minutes to find light again, but the Bears took advantage of some poor communication in the back by Bluefield to set up their second goal in the 40th minute to take a 2-1 advantage into the halftime break.
The Rams would respond with a second dose of energy and momentum in the second half starting with Freshman Erik Albarran's first goal on the night in the 57th minute. Tying it at 2-2, the Rams found space and time along the flanks to beat the Bears and took advantage of them.
Just three minutes later, the Rams would receive a huge blow when centerback Shawn Stanley was cautioned for a late challenge resulting in the visiting side going down a man for the remainder of the game.
Instead of the Rams sitting in, they responded. But yet again, Pikeville would gain a one-goal lead by firing in its third goal of the night off the foot of Lekealm to take 3-2 advantage.
Just as the momentum swing started to change Pikeville's way, Erik Albarran's left foot changed the game. But it started with the unselfish play of MF James Gunn, whose pace and sacrifice to create something out of nothing down the right flank. Gunn made a tough run into the box, cut the ball back, and went down on a tough tackle immediately following his pass into Albarran.
Albarran slotted the ball by Pikeville's Thomas to even the score at 3-3, for his second goal of the game. The tackle would take Gunn out for the remainder of the game.
All even at 3-3 a piece, Pikeville wouldn't go away as U-Pike's Lormistois made a crafty cut-back in the box on a Bluefield defender, and placed a ball into the far corner. Bluefield's Jefferson Watson had a full two-hands on the ball, but it squeeked through for a Bears advantage 4-3 in the 75th minute.
Down for the fourth time in the match, Bluefield took advantage of a clear goal scoring opportunity that was broken up by a hand ball in the box in the 82nd minute. Callaghan's penalty kick was converted to tie the game at 4-4.
The Rams would never look back. After a foul called from 35 yards out of their goal, Winger Jacob Mader worked hard to get free and found his head on the end of lofted free kick from Callaghan. Mader's flicking-header lofted into the upper 90 of the goal over the diving Thomas for the game-winning goal with just four minutes to play.
Bluefield continued to pressure up-top and were rewarded when Albarran knotted another goal for his first hat trick of his collegiate career in the 89th minute, solidifying the Bluefield victory in a tough environment.
Michael Callaghan picked up a goal and two assists on the night, while Albarran moves to 11 goals on the year. Jacob Mader, leading scorer from a season ago, picked up his 3rd goal on the year for the Rams.
The victory marks the first time Bluefield has won two or more conference games in a season since 2007, where they won two.
They will return home to the East River Soccer Complex on Saturday when the host St. Catharine in an important Mid-South Conference matchup at 3:00pm EST.