Beaver Falls, PA – It looked like this could be the year for Geneva’s men’s soccer team. After dropping NCCAA East regional matches to Roberts Wesleyan the last two years, Geneva brought a 15-4 overall record into the 2009 regional tournament on their home field at Merriman Athletic Complex. Despite the home field advantage and a nine-game winning streak heading into the weekend, the Golden Tornadoes got a similar result in a 4-2 loss to Roberts Wesleyan. The Golden Tornadoes dropped to 15-5 while the Raiders improved to 9-7-2 on the season.
As a result of their victory, Roberts Wesleyan will meet Mt. Vernon Nazarene in the regional final on Saturday afternoon at 12 pm. Mt. Vernon defeated Nyack 3-1 in the first semi-final of the day.
Roberts Wesleyan got off to a quick start with the games’ first goal only two minutes into the match. The Raiders increased their lead in the 17th minute on a goal from Marco Viana. Zachary Buffalini gave the Golden Tornadoes some life on a beautiful goal 34 minutes into the first half. Buffalini took a perfect feed from Jake McCracken and managed to beat the goaltender to cut the lead in half. It took Roberts Wesleyan only eight minutes to respond to move the lead to 3-1 with less than four minutes remaining before halftime.
McCracken headed a ball into the net just four minutes into the second half to once again pull Geneva to within a goal. The Golden Tornadoes seemingly picked up a huge lift when senior goalkeeper David Callahan turned away a penalty kick with 13 minutes left in regulation to keep Geneva in the match. Just three minutes after the penalty kick save, Dominic Coco scored for the second time in the match for Roberts Wesleyan to put the game away for the Raiders.
The Raiders out shot Geneva 24-10 for the game, but it was Callahan that made seven saves in the match to keep his team alive. Callahan also got help from Bruce Fox in the first half when Fox turned away a Roberts Wesleyan shot on the goal line to keep Geneva within a goal at the time, but it wasn’t enough for the Golden Tornadoes.
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College’s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).