Lock Haven blanked, 6-0

Neil Rudel
Date Published: 
Daily Collegian

Booters overcome 'panic'

Shortly following the Penn State soccer team's season debut Friday night, a 6-0 shellacking of the visiting Lock Haven Eagles, someone suggested that the Lion football team's opening round foe, Rutgers, and the Eagles were in the same boat.

That position being that a win over either Penn State club would virtually highlight each -- Rutgers' and Lock Haven's -- respective seasons.

Good point. Except for the fact that Lock Haven has already been a bothersome opener for coach Walt Bahr's booters in the past two years.

Penn State got off to a sluggish start Friday, probably die to a case of the opening game jitters.

"We played too much 'panic soccer' in the first half. The longer the game stayed 0-0 the more we rushed rather than slowing the ball down," Bahr said. "We were a little disorganized but it was our first game."

The Lions were visibly excited at the chance to play a regular season game. They had had enough preseason practices, spiced by an occasional scrimmage. And Friday night they showed it.

Bahr's booters came out bombarding visiting goalie Tom Fitzwater and if he hadn't stopped several hard shots -- early -- the contest might have been decided during the first 15 minutes.

However, it wasn't until hustling forward Jim Stamatis floated a deceiving 35-yard shot past Fitzwater, with 23:19 gone, did the Lions get on the scoreboard. Then, with 40:18 elapsed, Stamatis dribbled through the Eagle defense and fed a cutting Richie Reice, who lit the lamp to give the Lions a 2-0 lead, the score at halftime.

In the second half Bob Ehrlich, who had two goals and an assist in last year's 3-0 win over Lock Haven, headed in a rebound with 29:08 left to raise the Lions lead to 3-0.

After the outcome was academic, Reice got his second goal off a Matt Bahr pass with 18:49 left; Herb Menhardt found the range with 14:25 remaining and Kevin Costello rifled in a 30-yard leftfooted bullet to close out the scoring with 11:44 to play as Bahr notched his second assist.

Reice, a second team All-American last year, scored twice but really wasn't getting the ball that often. "I was staying a little too much in the middle of the field," he said.

Freshman Ray Patrick and Marvin Fishman -- clearly a crowd favorite -- both displayed poise and a promising future. "They did a nice job," Bahr said. "Ray showed several spurts of speed."

A win is a win is a win. But this one is nothing to cause Bahr to break out his party hat.

"We really didn't play all that well. But we're pleased with a victory," he said. "Not teking anything away from Lock Haven but I look at this game as a 'should win game'."

Losing coach Mike Parker saw his club lose 3-0 last year and now 6-0. "Both years it was our inexperience. We just don't keep our composure well enough under pressure," he said. "With all the pressure Penn State put on, we just cracked. They're a good squad, certainly a tournament quality team. I sort of feared this game."

Sound familiar? Maybe Parker and Frank Burns from Rutgers should get together.

Throw-Ins . . . Penn State outshot the visitors, 25-4 . . . State goalie had a sleepy night; he was celled upon to make only 2 saves . . . Jeff Heimer, Galagher's backup, took over after Ehrlich's goal . . . Ray Patrick, with all his moves and speed, has to be the Earl Monroe of Lion soccer . . . Reice's two scores put him eight on the all time PSU scoring list . . . A standing-room-only crowd of 5,100 was buzzing with enthusiasm for what could be THE year . . . Next game Friday night at home against Trenton State . . .

Lock Haven 0 0-0
Penn State 2 4-6

Scoring: PSU-1. Stamatis, 23:19; PSU-2. Reice (Stamatis), 40:18; PSU-3. Ehrlich, 60:52; PSU-4. Reice (Bahr), 71:11; PSU-5. Menhardt, 75:35; PSU-6. Costello (Bahr), 78:16.

Corner Kicks: LH 2, PSU 6
Shots: LH 4, PSU 25
Saves: LH Fitzwater 6, Wilde 0; PSU Gallagher 2, Heimer 0