Oberlin, Ohio – After a near-hour weather delay, the Oberlin College Yeomen and Otterbein University Cardinals finally took to the pitch on Wednesday night at Fred Shults Field where the visitors ultimately prevailed, 2-1, to spoil the home opener for Oberlin.
It was a quick-paced affair on both sides as the match featured 23 shots, 11 corners, and six offside violations on an attacking Cardinal side.
Otterbein set the pace early with a flurry of chances that never materialized. Oberlin would settle in and create some opportunities of its own as the opening frame matured. Late in the period a Cardinals’ foul on the edge of the box award Oberlin a setpiece opportunity, but Spencer Wright’s bending free kick was corralled by Otterbein keeper Collin Hoffman. In the closing minutes, first-year Thomas Kanter would also force Hoffman off his line, but the junior answered the call to keep the match scoreless through 45 minutes of play.
The Cardinals would eventually break the stalemate in the 54th minute as Eric Stuckey found room in front of the goal and tapped in a service from the far side by Erick Juarez-Manning to make it 1-0.
Slightly over 10 minutes later, Brian James nearly found the Oberlin equalizer, but he had his shot hit off the post. Shortly thereafter, Stuckey would strike again with the help of a Kennedy Mensah feed to give the visitors a more comfortable cushion.
However, the Yeomen continued to fight and were rewarded with their first goal of the season in the 77th minute as Jack McMillin finished off a deep cross from Ben Kessler to cut the deficit in half. For McMillin it was his 13th-career goal, while Kessler notched his first collegiate point.
A mere two minutes after the restart, McMillin charged forward again, but this time Hoffman was there to keep his side out in front. Kanter also had a shot sail wide in the 82nd minute, but the Cardinals bunkered down from there to preserve the win.
Sophomore goalie Fiachra McDonagh was impressive throughout the night as he made six saves to run his season account to 20.
Oberlin will try to secure its first win of the season on Saturday night as local rival Case Western Reserve comes to town for a 7 p.m. clash.