OSKALOOSA — The William Penn men’s soccer team continued their winning streak with a 1-0 victory against the No. 15 MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers.
The Statesmen improve to 8-6 on the season while evening their record in the Heart of America Athletic Conference at 4-4.
The offense for both sides started off pretty slow with the first shot not coming until almost five minutes into the half as Vincenzo Centrella (Jr., Rome, Italy) had a header knocked away. Neither goalie was forced into action until 26 minutes in as Hugo Lorenzo (So., Madrid, Spain, Mechanical Engineering) had a header attempt saved.
Although the Statesmen only had three shots through the first 30 minutes, they completely stymied the visitors as they could not generate anything on offense.
William Penn finally generated some offensive chances, as Aidan Twohig (Jr., Middlesbrough, England, Sports Management) fired a shot away, but had it deflected. Luke Andrews (Sr., Andover, England, Sports Management) found the ball off the deflection and took it up the far sideline. He fired a left footed cross into the box, which bounced over the outstretched hands of the opposing keeper, setting it up perfectly for Kenedy Deviska (Sr., Pignon, Haiti, Wellness and Recreation), who flew in to head it home. His fifth goal of the year gave the Statesmen a 1-0 lead that they took into halftime. The Pioneers managed only a single shot against the William Penn defense, but it was saved by Harry Nash (Jr., Basingstoke, England, Sports Management).
The navy and gold kept the pressure on early in the second half, firing off two shots, but both of them sailed wide. MNU had a couple set pieces in a row to follow, but did not capitalize on either opportunity.
As the half continued, the Pioneer’s offense continued to mount pressure. They took two shots, but both missed their mark, and two more corner kicks proved fruitless as the Statesmen tried to regain the momentum.
Lorenzo had another great opportunity to score and fired a shot that got past the keeper, but a Pioneer defender had positioned himself well and knocked it away. With the deficit still at one, the visitors took it to the other end of the field and nearly scored, but this time it was the Statesmen who had one of their defenders help out the keeper, as Edan Sears (Fr., Telford, England, Sports Management) was there to knock the shot away. The Pioneers managed to get one more shot away, but it didn’t present any threat as Nash got the easy save, and the Statesmen burned the rest of the block away to seal the victory.
The Statesmen outshot the Pioneers in convincing fashion, taking 16 shots while only allowing seven. Nash earned three saves in the game.
“We are relieved to finally win at home and get another top 25 win against a quality MNU team,” said Head Coach Simon Brown. “We look forward to playing in front of our home fans against a strong Mount Mercy team.”
What’s Next: The Statesmen have another tough matchup coming on Tuesday against the Mount Mercy Mustangs. Kickoff at Drost Field is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.