The Ashland University men's soccer team opened the season with a 1-0 double overtime defeat at Lake Erie on Thursday (Sept. 5) night in Painesville, Ohio.
Neither team put up many chances early, combining for just one shot in the first 45 minutes. The game opened up in the second half with both teams garnering opportunities to break the draw.
The Eagles played without four key players from last year's NCAA Tournament squad due to injury and played a lineup that had not seen much time together in the preseason.
"Our reality is the season is starting three weeks too soon with four guys out with injuries, including our two senior captains," said fourth-year head coach Oliver Slawson. "The work rate and the effort of the guys we had out there was faultless. We had some guys playing in roles they hadn't played in, and they handled themselves well. It will be great experience for them as we build forward with this team and program."
Lake Erie and Ashland each took two shots in the first overtime, but the Storm (1-0) finally capitalized on a chance in the 105th minute as Javier Borreguero got a ball onto his left foot and blasted a shot from 22 yards under the bar for the game-winner.
The Storm held a 10-5 edge in total shots while the Eagles led in corner kicks, 5-1.
Redshirt-sophomore Hakeem Metzger made his collegiate debut as Ashland's goalkeeper and made six saves on the night. Tom John stopped three shots for the Storm.
"Their keeper made the two biggest saves of the game," said Slawson. "He cleared two balls off the line that were world-class saves."
The Eagles return to the pitch on Wednesday (Sept. 11) for their home opener at Ferguson Field against Walsh at 7 p.m.