MSOC: Colonels bounce back and beat Scranton 3-1


Kyle Kraemer

Senior Alvaro Fernandez-Maldonado heads a ball in an attempt to start another Colonel offensive attack.

EDWARDSVILLE, Pa– The Wilkes University Colonels edged out the University of Scranton Royals 3-1. The Colonels win was the first against Scranton since 2007.

Wilkes came into this game following a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Stevenson, where the Colonels gave up two late goals and were unable to recover.

“We have a tough history with Scranton. We really wanted to play our game and not theirs,” Colonel defender Hunter Maxwell said. “We needed to come out strong after Saturday.”

The first half started slow, as both teams tried to avoid any mistakes. It took until the end of the 29th minute of play for either team to make that first mistake and it was junior Kyle Bentz and the Colonels who were able to capitalize.

Bentz danced around a Royal defender to the middle of the field. He used the time he had to send a perfect pass to Camry Huff who sprinted up the sideline, beating his defender. Huff was left with just the Royal goalkeeper Blake Hammert to beat and he was able to chip the ball by him with ease. The Colonels were able to keep their 1-0 lead heading into halftime, but their morale was lifted. Wilkes flew around for the rest of the first half heading into halftime.

“It’s always good to get the first one and really get some momentum going,” Huff said. “It was good to put us in a spot to keep coming after them.”

The Colonels picked up in the second half right where they left off in the first as the continued to fly around and dominate the ball. It paid off quickly in the second half as Huff sent a shot off the far post from the left side that was buried by a sliding Bentz.

The 2-0 allowed the Colonels to take their foot off the gas a bit, as they attempted to bleed the clock out. Once the clock ticked down under 16 minutes it was the Royals who were able to capitalize on a Colonel mistake. Andrew Luchansky picked a Colonel defender’s pocket and sprinted down the field. Luchansky sent a shot that was blocked but bounced right to the foot of Michael Castaldi who wasted no time finding the back of the net and cutting the Colonel lead down to one.

Scranton appeared to catch a second wind as they looked to claw their way back into the game. The last 15 minutes of the game was intense and very dramatic. Colonel goalkeeper Tim Gallagher did everything in his power to keep the Colonels on top. Jarred Corbett sent a shot towards Gallagher in net but he dove to his right making a fantastic save.

“The team just needed to make sure that we regrouped and came back after the goal,” Gallagher said. “We needed to make sure we got back to what got us the two goal lead and that was possessing the ball and continuing to move it forward.”

The Colonels wasted no time following Gallagher’s effort and cleared the ball out of danger. Instead of sitting back and being content with th clear, Huff sprinted down the field and delivered a beautiful set piece to Bentz in the slot. Bentz was unable to corral the pass immediately, but he recovered shortly after and sent a hard shot to the bottom right corner of the net.

The goal was good for Bentz’s second of the game and left the Royals in a two goal hole with just under two minutes left.

“Bentz’s goal was huge. It really came at a good time after (Gallagher’s) huge save,” Huff said. “The goal put the game out of reach for them and put the last nail in the coffin.”

The Colonels now hold a 4-3-1 record heading into conference play where they start with Delaware Valley University.

“Hopefully we are building some momentum heading into conference play,” Colonels Head Coach Michael Piranian said. “I’m excited but it’s going to be tough. There are tough tems we need to play starting with Delaware Valley.”


Wilkes 3, Scranton 1



First half— 1. WILK, Camry Huff (Kyle Bentz), 29:48. Second half— 2. WILK, Bentz (Huff), 39:10; 3. SCRAN, Michael Castaldi (Andrew Luchansky), 15:58; 4. WILK, Bentz (Huff), 1:48.

Shots- SCRAN 10; WILK 11. Saves- SCRAN 1 (Blake Hammert); WILK 3 (Tim Gallagher). Corner kicks- SCRAN 4; WILK 3. Fouls- SCRAN 13; WILK 7.