Tartans Defeat Capital to Advance to Championship of Hiram Tournament

Tartans Defeat Capital to Advance to Championship of Hiram Tournament

(HIRAM, Ohio) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's soccer team defeated Capital University, 2-1, in the first game of the Hiram College Tournament on Friday, September 5, when senior Scott Gerfen (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) knocked in a rebound in the 67th minute. The Tartans pick up their first win of the year and are now 1-2 for the season.

The game was full of action in the first half as the score was tied 1-1 at the break with Capital taking eight shots to the Tartans' five. A shot off the post by Capital started the action in the second minute before the Tartans put a shot on goal in the fifth minute by Gerfen and another shot on goal in the ninth minute by senior Louis Ferragonio (Pittsburgh, Pa./Plum).

Tartan junior keeper Eric Bykowsky (Columbia, S.C./Irmo) saved a Crusader shot in the 20th minute but was unable to stop Calvin Saunders' fourth shot of the half in the 29th minute when Saunders put in a shot from the top right of the 18-yard box to the lower left corner.

Capital hit the post again at the 39:06 mark and Bykowsky made the save on a follow-up attempt 20 seconds later. Another save by Bykowsky in the 41st minute preceeded the Tartans' equalizer by junior Dimitrije Slavkovic (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) in the 42nd minute. Senior Mark Nicholas (Metuchen, N.J./Hun School of Princeton) had a shot hit the post and Slavkovic was there to deflect the rebound in the net for his first career marker.

The Tartans used the game-tying goal as momentum at the start of the second half, getting forward with two shots in the first eight minutes and holding possession for the first 20 minutes before Gerfen's shot gave the Cardinal and Gray the 2-1 lead. Gerfen was in the right place at the right time as senior Jakob Rohwer's (Southborough, Mass./Phillips Academy Andover) shot was saved by Crusader keeper Kevin Fikar but knocked away where Gerfen was able to knock in the loose ball for the go-ahead goal.

Bykowsky and the Tartans were able to keep the Crusader's off the score sheet for the final 20 minutes even with two opponent shots hitting the post.

Bykowsky earned his first career victory stopping four shots for the game.

"It is great to see the team improving each time we play," head coach Brandon Bowman said. "It takes character to go down a goal and fight your way back into the game. Our team has a spirit that is fun to coach. We challenged the guys to pick up their level at halftime, and they responded well. Now we have to quickly recover and play well in tomorrow's championship match."

The Tartans will now face host Hiram (3-0) at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 6 in the championship game of the Hiram Tournament.