By John Ostapowicz
After a winless 2022 season, the Youngstown State University men’s soccer club defeated Kent State University, Sept. 1 at Farmers National Bank Field inside the Covelli Sports Complex.
Although the first game of the season for the Penguins was hard-fought, the team pulled off the upset with a 2-1 victory over the Golden Flashes.
The offense struck first with a penalty kick by sophomore left-winger Gabe Lisi. The goal launched off the back corner of the net with 20 minutes left in the first period to put the Penguins up 1-nil.
In the second period, Kent State fired back with a goal to set the score 1-1 off a kick inside the box to catch the Penguins’ goalie off guard with 35 minutes left.
After a lot of back and forth between players’ tensions were high but, the Penguin mentality proved superior.
“It was a tight game and tensions are always a little bit higher in tight games,” Lisi said.
With less than 10 minutes in regulation, senior striker Miguel Rojas scored to put Youngstown State on the board to win the game.
After a break-down on the defensive end, Rojas capitalized on an attack opportunity.
Rojas said the win felt great after losing to the Golden Flashes last season and the hard work finally paid off.
“It came out a lot better than we expected. Everytime we play against [Kent State] we always have trouble,” Rojas said. “We were going at it as hard as we could and got the dub.”
With the win, the Penguins traveled to Cincinnati on Sept. 9 to take on Xavier University for the first time in program history.
The Youngstown State offense was unable to get going as the Musketeers scored five goals en route to a 5-nil loss.
The men’s soccer club looks to bounce back from the loss as it takes on the University of Akron on Sept. 24.
For more information on the game and to keep up with the soccer club, follow its Instagram and Twitter, @ysumenssoccer.