HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Brandon Kates’ (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) late, first-half goal stood as the game winner for the Susquehanna men’s soccer team as the Crusaders handed Landmark Conference foe Juniata a 1-0 loss on Tuesday afternoon.
Kates’ goal, the sophomore defender’s second of the year, came with less than a minute remaining in the first half and the SU defense made sure that was all the offense Susquehanna (9-5-0, 4-1-0) needed.
The Susquehanna defense was so solid, in fact, that goalie B.J. Merriam (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional) never even had to make a save all night, despite playing all 90 minutes. The Eagles (8-6-1, 1-4-1) managed only eight shots against the Crusaders.
Susquehanna, meanwhile, fired off 12 shots, six of which were on goal as Juniata goalie Ezra Cassel made five saves against SU.
With only 50 seconds remaining, the first half seemed destined to be a scoreless one until Brandon Eisenhart (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) teamed up with Kates to get the Crusaders on the scoreboard with a 1-0 edge.
SU actually took the majority of its shots in the final 45 minutes but could not find the back of the net to add to its lead. Ezra came up with saves on several potential scoring threats by the Crusaders, including a shot by Jim Robertiello (Chester, N.J./West Morris Mendham) with five minutes remaining.
The win snapped SU’s brief, two-game slide and Susquehanna has now won five of its last seven matches heading into the final stretch of the regular season.
Next game: Saturday, Oct. 23 at Moravian – 3 p.m.