By Blake Moore
ADA - In a back-and-forth nonconference affair, the Ohio Northern men's soccer program survived a chaotic second half scoring flurry to upend the visiting Oberlin Yeomen 4-2 under the lights at Kerscher Stadium Saturday evening.
With the victory, the Polar Bears earn their second consecutive win and move to 3-2-1 on the campaign. Meanwhile, Oberlin dropped to 0-6-0 in 2018.
Following a scoreless first stanza, both offenses came alive in the second half to score all six goals of the match during the first 11 minutes of the second half. The Yeomen were the first to strike when Trenton Bulucea blasted a penalty kick into the netting just 46 seconds into the frame, giving the visitors their only lead of the night.
Nothern would quickly respond with back-to-back goals of their own as junior midfielder Timothy Hoffman (Strongsville) and sophomore defender Beelal Hasan (Westerville/Thomas) each tallied a strike off a pair of assists from freshman Levi King (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central). Hasan's brace pushed his team-leading goal mark to five while King jumped to the top of the assist leaderboard with his second and third helpers of the season.
The Yeomen would prove to be a tough customer, however, tying the game thirty seconds later on a Brian James goal, quickly erasing the Polar Bears' first lead of the night.
Just four minutes later, Northern would break into the scoring column once more when senior forward Anthony DeNoi (Powell/Olentangy Liberty) tapped home a shot that rebounded off the goalkeeper to notch his third goal of the season and the eventual game winner. Hasan would receive credit for an assist on the play as he provided the initial shot attempt on goal.
The second half scoring flurry came to a close following an insurance goal scored by King in the 56th minute on a direct kick helper from senior Dakota Swisher (Westlake). The goal, his third of the season, rounded out an exceptional five-point week for the freshman.
In net, sophomore goalkeeper John Lombardo (Solon) recorded his first career start and first career victory Saturday evening while also tallying one save.
Despite the close finish on the scoreboard, the Polar Bears did own a sizeable 34-9 total shots advantage Saturday, including an 18-3 cushion in shots on goal. ONU would also earn seven corner kick opportunities during the contest while the Yeomen would record just one.
Ohio Northern is scheduled to return to action Tuesday, September 18 when they host Thomas More (Ky.) at Kerscher Stadium to finish a brief two-game home stand. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Ada.