The Baldwin Wallace Men’s soccer team bounced back from a three-game losing streak by earning a hearty victory against Muskingum at home in their Senior Day game this past Saturday.
The team had dropped three straight OAC matchups, all being one-point losses. But the team was able to find their footing and get back into the win column against the Fighting Muskies.
The team brought the heat early on in 3-0 as Senior All-American Danny Ruple struck first in the fifth minute off of a perfect through ball from sophomore Attila Nagy. It was not long after that the Yellow Jackets struck again with Ruple burying a rebound off a shot from sophomore Dylan Keeling just one minute later.
Ruple’s two goals brought him to 16 on the season, which leads the team.
Baldwin Wallace dominated the game in possession and shots on frame but seemed to let up a little bit after taking the lead. Then in the 78th minute of the game, Joey Geither steals the ball from the opposing team and lays across a perfect pass for freshman Brandon Garibotti to slot into the back of the net. This win snaps the Yellow Jackets longest losing streak of three straight games and bumping them up to seventh in conference putting them in striking range to clinch playoffs. The team gained a boost with more important OAC matchups ahead of them. “Senior day always comes with a lot of emotion and some of that is good and some of that can be bad. Our guys did a great job on Saturday of getting off to a good start,” Head coach Reid Ayers said. “They defended well enough for us to get a critical win in OAC play.” When asked what was needed to continue with another result this Wednesday against John Carroll, Coach Ayers had a very simple solution. He said, “The next game is always a tough hard fought game with John Carroll. For us to be successful we have to limit their chances with an emphasis on defending restarts and we have to be very quick to hit them on the counter-attack. After a bit of an injury bug our guys are getting healthy and we hope to take some momentum into the last few weeks of the season to qualify for post season play.”
The team currently sits in seventh place, but only the top six qualify for the OAC Tournament, and with home matchups against #8 ranked John Carroll, and Mount Union ahead, BW has moved into what seems like win-or-go-home territory.