Phoenixville, Pa. / Hazleton, Pa. - Men's and Women's soccer had difficulties completing their games on Friday. The Lady Lions traveled to the Philadelphia area to face the University of Valley Forge while the men's squad stayed put to face Pratt Institute on the their home turf. Only the men's game would reach an official conclusion with the Nittany Lions falling to Pratt by the score of 3-2.
The Lady Lions battled pulled ahead early on at Valley Forge, snagging a 2-0 lead at halftime and added two more scores in the second half. But as the final fram progressed, dangerous weather moved into the Philadelphia area. Attempts were made to re-take the field but as darkness began to fall, the weather ceased to cooperate. Unfortunately for the Lady Lions, the contest failed to reached the 70 minute threshold, negating their 4-0 lead and a possible win over Valley Forge.
The men's squad had much more favorable weather in the Hazleton area as they squared off with Pratt Institute. The Nittany Lions took their first lead of the season coming in the 11th minute as sophomore Sam Deptula (Shamokin, Pa.) found junior Aaron Wrobleski (Mountain Top, Pa.) on a crossing pass from the right side. Wrobleski settled the pass, took one touch and fired past the keeper's left to put Hazleton on top 1-0.
Unfortunately for the Lions that lead would not hold up as Pratt proceeded to score the next three goals. Finn Bradley would erase the one goal deficit in the 25th minute and Jared Rice would score the next two, one coming in the 35th minute and a second score just as the final half began. The Lions for the next 13:39 before Wrobleski got Hazleton back in contention. In the 61st minute of play, Wrobleski tracked down a loose ball in the opponents box. With the keeper racing to cover the ball, Wrobleski beat the goaltender to the ball, chipping it past the keeper for his second score of the night.
Hazleton was building momentum as the game's end drew near, but the Lions luck would run out in the closing moments. With 3:24 remaining in the game, the lights gave out at the Hazleton campus. Attempts were made to restore lighting to the field, but to the chagrin of fans and players, the game would be called due to the technical difficulties. Unlike the women's game, the men's game was played well past the minimum required 70 minutes, giving the Cannoneers the 3-2 win in the 86th minute.
Next up: Despite the loss, progress continues for the Hazleton men's squad, a trend they'll look to continue when they next take the pitch. The Lions with hit the road for the next four contests beginning with an away game on Thursday, September 13. Hazleton will travel to face Keystone College with kick-off scheduled for 4:00 p.m.