November 4, 2014

Betteridge, Blake boost Grove City into PAC Final

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Sophomore midfielder Stephen Betteridge (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford-Mendon) scored in the 103rd minute and freshman Malcolm Blake (Moreland Hills, Ohio/Orange) earned the win in his first collegiate start as the Grove City College men's soccer team avenged an earlier loss with a 2-1 victory double overtime victory over Waynesburg in the Presidents' Athletic Conference semifinals on Tuesday afternoon at College Field.

Sophomore midfielder Dale Reese (Rocky Hill, Conn./Loomis Chaffee) also scored for the Wolverines (12-6-1), who with the victory advance to their first PAC Championship match since 2005.

Grove City jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on the Jackets (9-7-4) in the seventh minute when sophomore defender Nich Leaman (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) played a long ball ahead to Reese. Reese took a long touch to draw Waynesburg goalkeeper Brandon Daughtry off his line but maintained control to poke the ball past the keeper into the open net for his sixth goal of the season. Leaman was credited with the first assist of his collegiate career.

The Wolverines would continue to control play throughout the first half by dominating possession of the ball but were unable to find an insurance goal as they took that 1-0 lead into halftime. Grove City held a 13-3 advantage in total shots, including a 6-0 lead in shots on goal.

Momentum would swing Waynesburg's way after the break, and the Jackets found their opportunity to equalize in the 80th minute. Ray Melone would take a corner kick from the left side, and his bending ball skipped off the ground just in front of the goal line and inside the near left post to beat Blake and even the score at 1-1.

Waynesburg would continue to push over the final ten minutes of regulation, but Blake and the Wolverine defense held strong to send the match into overtime. The Jackets outshot the Wolverines 19-9 after the break, including 6-4 on goal.

After Waynesburg held the advantage early in the first overtime period, Grove City retook control of both possession and momentum midway through the period, firing six shots in the final five minutes and forcing Daughtry to make a pair of saves to extend the match into double overtime.

In the second overtime period, it was all Grove City, as both Betteridge and junior Seth Loew (Center Valley, Pa./Southern Lehigh) sent hard shots toward net in the opening 90 seconds that were sent away by Daughtry. The Wolverines wouldn't be stopped on their third attempt of the half, however, as sophomore David Wurmlinger (Belle Vernon, Pa./Belle Vernon) carried up the right side and slotted a ball through to Betteridge, who booted a shot across the box and past Daughtry inside the left post for the game-winner.

The goal was Betteridge's fourth of the season while Wurmlinger notched his fourth assist.

Blake, who was making his first collegiate start in place of injured junior Ben Weaver (York, Pa./Dallastown), made seven saves and stopped several other dangerous crosses to earn his first victory in goal as a Wolverine.

Today's match marked the third straight time that Grove City played a double overtime match in the PAC Semifinals. The Wolverines played to a scoreless draw before falling in penalty kicks during each of the previous two seasons.

Grove City will face top-seeded Thomas More on Saturday at noon at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pa. for the Presidents' Athletic Conference Championship Tournament Final.

Box Score

Go to Wolverine Soccer Home Page