ADA – The Heidelberg University men's soccer team had their chance at a repeat OAC Tournament Championship ended on Thursday as they fell 2-0 at 22nd-ranked Ohio Northern. Despite getting a number of chances in the second half after trailing 1-0, the Student Princes were unable to find the equalizer. They conceded a penalty kick goal later in the half that sealed their fate.
Heidelberg's season ends with a record of 7-9-5. It was the final match in the collegiate careers of seniors Kyle Simpson, Kurt Wilhelm, Ryan Homoki, Chris Koczak, Jacob Hetrick, and Mitchell Papst. Each of them played a big part in the team's success and run to last year's OAC Tournament Championship, the first in school history.
"My heart goes out to our six outstanding seniors who have given so much to this program over the last four years," said Heidelberg head coach Ryan Carruth. "They have a lot to be proud of and will be sorely missed."
The Student Princes were only edged 16-14 in total shots in the match, as the Berg out-shot ONU 10-8 in the second period. They were unable to find the back of the net however, as each of their opportunities came up fruitless.
Ohio Northern scored the match's first goal in the 38th minute when a deflected ball inside box was put into the goal, making it 1-0.
In the second half, Heidelberg was able to find a number of chances. In the 67th minute, Homoki took a shot that deflected off of the post, just missing out on the equalizer.
In the 72nd minute, a foul on the Berg in the box allowed Ohio Northern a shot at a penalty kick, which was converted into the upper 90 to put the Student Princes in a large hole.
Heidelberg did not go down without a fight, however, as they were able to create some chances down the stretch, but did not have enough to score as they fell by a final of 2-0.
Ohio Northern advances to the championship match, which they will host on Saturday by virtue of John Carroll's 3-2 win at Capital.
"Congratulations to Ohio Northern on advancing," said Carruth. "They are a very direct playing team with speed and athleticism and they create problems doing what they do. Tonight they scored on a penalty kick and off of a set piece and that's the way it goes sometimes."
Heidelberg's season ends having advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament for the fifth time in the past seven seasons.
"I thought we played some beautiful soccer, particularly in the second half where we dominated possession and created some good chances," said Carruth. "You can see what the future of Heidelberg soccer looks like - and boy does it look bright."