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Sulpizio Leads Bulldogs in Tie with E-Town

Teammates congratulate senior Jonathan Balfour after the first goal of the season during Friday’s home opener. Photo by Derek Slichter.

by Dan Beck

While many DeSales students flocked home for the Labor Day weekend, the Bulldogs men’s soccer team was busy at work, fighting hard to a scoreless tie with Elizabethtown College.

Sophomore goalkeeper Colin Sulpizio was the star for the Bulldogs making numerous key saves in the waning moments of the game to keep the tie in tact. His first big save came in the final seconds of the first half, making a great stop off an E-Town free kick. With just under 16 minutes left, Sulpizio made two big saves, one of them a diving block to push the ball away from the net. With less than 10 minutes remaining in overtime, Sulpizio made another terrific stop to hold the tie.

“He was just unbelievable,” junior defender Matt Metzler said of Sulpizio’s goaltending.  “As a defender, it’s great to know he’s behind you. He makes saves that make you think, ‘Wow, how did he just pull that off?’”

Sophomore Brandon Moninghoff made what was perhaps the save of the game late in double overtime. With the ball bouncing around deep inside the DSU 18, the midfielder slid and deflected the ball out of danger.

The Bulldogs had some good opportunities on the offensive end as well. Senior Jonathan Balfour pushed the ball deep into Blue Jay territory on a few occasions, but came up just shy. Metzler, senior Steve Krause, and senior Tyler Nolan did a good job of keeping the ball on the E-Town side for a majority of the game.

It was the Bulldogs’ second game in two days after opening up Friday afternoon at home with a win against SUNY-Cortland. Balfour, along with first-year player Steve Castellani and junior Josh Himes, had goals in the 3-1 victory. Senior Paddy Farrell added three assists, one on each goal. Sulpizio was excellent in goal, letting just one goal past and making four saves.

“With both teams playing yesterday, we knew it was going to be a fight and that’s exactly what we got,” Metzler said. “Each team had its chances and it was up and down for the most part.”

The Bulldogs return to the field Tuesday at Lebanon Valley College before travelling to Manhattanville College next weekend for the Valiant Classic. For now, the Bulldogs will reflect on their tight battle with E-Town.

“We want to win every game we play, but against a tough opponent like that, it’s good to see us competitive,” Metzler added. “It leaves us feeling like we can play with anyone.”

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