#2 Falcons Take Out Bullets, Beat Gettysburg 5-0
Grantham, PA — A lightning and rain delay of 2.5-hours left only 200-plus fans around Shoemaker Field on Wednesday night, perhaps the same number many schools draw on a cloudless evening. Nevertheless, for those that waited out the weather on this night, the Falcons did not disappoint.
The Messiah Falcons, ranked #2 in both the D3Soccer.com and NSCAA Top 25 polls, sparked some lightning of their own against Gettysburg College, scoring three first-half goals in an eventual 5-0 win. The win moved Messiah to a record of 4-0-1. Gettysburg fell to 1-3 on the season.
Messiah sophomore Aaron Myers started the scoring in the 37th minute, taking a cross from senior Trevor Lee and striking it to the low, left corner. The 12-yard goal was followed up less than two minutes later with a penalty score from freshman Brian Ramirez, who was tackled in the box.
The Falcons' third goal may have been the most impressive on the evening, as Ramirez would drill a 30-yard shot off the top left post and into the back of the next. The shot left the Gettysburg keeper frozen, unable to react. Needless to say, the strike raised a few eyebrows.
"That was a bomb from 30-yards out," said head coach Brad McCarty, commenting on Ramirez's second goal. "The keeper didn't even move, and no one else did either."
With the game in hand at 3-0 going into the half, Messiah's continued pressure was noticeably wearing on the Bullets' defense. The relentless attack led to the Falcons' fourth goal, a score by senior Danny Thompson off a feed from freshman Jeremy Payne. Thompson's shot, taken from just inside the top of the box, rocketed past a diving goalie to the low, left side of the frame and into the net.
"We controlled the game well, especially in the second half," noted McCarty, in his third season as head coach of the Falcons. "We created good scoring opportunities and were able to capitalize on them. We had some quality goals tonight."
Messiah's final goal would be scored by Payne, a strike off a blocked header from Myers.
"I was happy that we kept our pressure on and continued to execute the things we focus on each day," added McCarty. "We want to control the tempo of the game, and we want to wear down our opponents. Tonight, our guys kept their aggression throughout and that's the way we want to play."
Messiah will look to continue their aggressive play this Saturday when they host DeSales University for a 7:00 p.m. start. Last year, Messiah came away from DeSales with a 3-2 victory, a game McCarty remembers well.
"They're a quality program, and we had a challenge with them last year. I anticipate another great game between our two teams."
Rain or shine, the fans will be there.
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