TIFFIN, Ohio - The Heidelberg men's soccer team had dropped two close, tough conference matchups entering their game against the Otterbein Cardinals on Saturday. Battling not only the Cardinals, but the harsh, wet and chilly conditions, the Student Princes showed their true grit as they grinded out a 1-0 victory at home.
The turf at Mayer Field was slick due to a steady rain that fell throughout the morning, but the Heidelerg men bested the weather and their opponent.
In the 14th minute of the match, sophomore Chris Koczak netted the only goal of the game. It was brilliant interplay that set up the Koczak goal.
Junior Hamid Shariff played the ball to sophomore Ryan Homoki as the Berg went on an attacking run in the Otterbein defensive third. Homoki played the ball forward to Koczak who beat a wouldbe Cardinal defender and knocked the ball pass the Otterbein keeper, Kyle Ripma, into the twine.
Although Koczak claimed the lone goal of the contest, the Berg offense stayed busy all game. As a unit, the Student Princes tallied 20 shots with four of them on target, including Koczak's goal.
Junior goalkeeper Matthew Stevens only faced four shots against the Cardinals as the Berg defense played well yet again. Steven did make a brilliant save with eight minutes left in the game when Otterbein placed their best opportunity of the evening on net.
The Heidelberg men will continue OAC competition as they travel to Ada, Ohio to take on the Ohio Northern Polar Bears. Kickoff between the Student Princes and the defending conference champion Polar Bears is slated for 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 22.