It was a wild day for the Heidelberg University men’s soccer team at the Hidden Valley Soccer Complex when they took on the Yeomen of Oberlin College on an overcast Sunday afternoon. A brilliant hat trick performance from freshman forward Greg Raimondo combined with a seven cards and two penalty kicks made for an interesting contest as the Berg defeat the Yeomen, 4-2.
“It was a strange game,” said veteran head coach Dr. Brian Haley. “Although Greg had a headline performance today there were a lot of players that stepped up and provided great supporting play.”
The game remained scoreless for a majority of the first half until Raimondo found the back of the net for the first time in the 35th minute. Raimondo came streaking up the middle of the offensive third, intercepted a pass that rolled through an Oberlin defender’s legs and knocked it home with a left footed shot.
Raimondo’s second goal came in the 44th when a brilliantly placed long pass from senior defender Erik Furst fell in-between the Oberlin keeper and a defender. Greg split the would-be defenders and place a beautiful header to the back of the net.
With a 2-0 lead at the half, the Student Princes came out and struck early in the second. In the 56th minute, Raimondo completed his hat trick with a well placed shot off of a deflection, which came from a Nico Samaneigo shot attempt.
Leading 3-0, the Berg was awarded a penalty kick two minutes later after the Oberlin keeper, Brandt Rentel, collided with Berg forward Kurt Wilhelm in the penalty area. Sophomore forward Chris Koczak stepped up to take the penalty kick and banged it into the twine to send the Berg to a 4-0 lead.
It was a heated contest from the first Heidelberg yellow card that was issued in the 15th minute. The Student Princes warranted two more in the first half and added one more yellow in the second half. The contest began to look troublesome for the Berg when freshman Andres Isea was issued a second yellow and in turn a red card in the 67th minute. The Berg’s foul troubles continued when defender Jacob Hetrick was sent off in the 71st minute for an intentional hand ball in the penalty area.
“We were harshly done by the officiating today but we stayed strong mentally because it’s not easy to play against a tough team like Oberlin two men down,” Haley commented.
Hetrick’s foul awarded a penalty kick to the Yeomen. The penalty kick opportunity led to the Yeomen’s first goal of the contest when Slade Gottleib took aim and beat Heidelberg keeper Matthew Stevens. Oberlin tacked on their second goal when Gottlieb connected on a pass from Matt Tunzi in the 74th minute.
“It was a strange game but it shows a lot of character that we were able to grind it out for twenty minutes with nine men against their full squad,” said Haley. “What a performance from the whole team,” he added.
Stevens collected six saves on the day which are his only saves of the 2013 season thus far.
“Greg had a great game today, but a lot of players should grab attention for our two wins this season,” said Haley. “Our bench is deep with experience and quality young players who played well against Wooster and Oberlin. Tyler Eoff, Andy Lacefield, Chris Koczak and Eric Furst have filled their roles of play maker and supporting player very well and our bench has played well,” said Haley.
The Heidelberg men will return to the pitch on Wednesday, September 11 as the first installment of a men’s-women’s double header. The men will square off with the Yellow Jackets of Defiance College at 3:30 p.m. before the women kickoff their contest against the Yellow Jackets at 5:30 p.m.