Sept. 1 – The Hiram College men's soccer team opened the 2017 campaign, with a hard-fought, overtime loss at the hands of Albion College on Friday afternoon.
Only two goals were scored in regulation time, with each side netting one apiece to force the overtime frame. In the first OT, the Brittons turned defense to offense, quickly, flipping a Terrier push into a breakaway for freshman Kay Whitmore. Whitmore put the overtime shot in the back of the net, providing the one-goal difference.
Overtime was needed for the teams as the two sides traded tallies just five minutes apart. Sophomore captain John Virag got the scoring going in the 52nd minute after a foul was drawn on Albion inside the 18-yard box. Virag calmly made the most of his penalty shot, beating the Briton's freshman keeper to the left and staking Hiram to a 1-0 lead.
It was in the 58th-minute, however, the Albion responded. Following a foul on the Terriers, a 50/50 ball ended up in the possession of Christian Hurtado, who tallied his first goal of the season, knotting the game at one.
Despite each side allowing a goal through the first 90 minutes of regulation, the game began as if neither side was going to surrender a marker.
The two sides went scoreless into the half with Albion taking seven shots, and Hiram, six. Chances were had by both teams, but a defensive save by sophomore Sam Reckley kept the Brittons from taking advantage of an open net, while Albion keeper Max Loria made a great save on senior Josh Lubich.
Overall, the Brittons outshot the Terriers 17-10 while holding a 6-5 advantage in corner kicks. The Terriers placed three shots on net throughout the evening, including shots by Lubich, Blake Easterling and Virag.
Making just his second-career start, CJ Keith played well, making six saves in just over 97 minutes of action.
Hiram will return to the pitch on Sunday, Sept. 3, as they play host to the Titans of Westminster College. The game is set for a 7:45 p.m. start.