OSKALOOSA — The William Penn men's soccer team had a tough matchup waiting for them in their return to Drost Field as the No. 5 Columbia Cougars came to town.
After a closely fought first half, the Cougars were able to pull away in the second en route to a 3-0 loss for the Statesmen. The loss moves their overall record to 4-2 on the young season.
The wind was howling to the north for the duration of the match, and the Statesmen tried to take advantage in the opening half. William Penn was able to rattle off three quick shots in the opening minutes as Gianmarco Centrella (Jr., Rome, Italy), Kenedy Deviska (Sr., Pignon, Haiti), and Aidan Twohig (Fr, Middlesbrough, England) all took their shots at goal, but none of them found the target.
The Statesmen continued to pour shots on as they dominated the game in terms of possession, holding Columbia to only three shots. However, only one of those 10 shots forced any action from the Columbia keeper, and the two teams entered the locker rooms at halftime still scoreless.
The second half told a much different story as Columbia, now working with the wind, needed only four minutes to drive one home and take a 1-0 lead. Only five minutes later, another goal off a cross doubled the Cougars' lead, then a third goal was poured on at the 63 minute mark. After spending much of the first half with no real offense of any kind, the Cougars found themselves with a three goal advantage with less than 30 minutes to play.
The hole proved to be too deep to climb out of, as the navy and gold never mounted another true offensive threat and dropped the contest 2-0.
The Statesmen actually outshot the Cougars in the game 16-11, but only two of those shots came on target while four were on the mark for Columbia.
"When you play the best teams, you have to be perfect in all aspects," said Head Coach Simon Brown. "We didn't take our chances when we were on top and defended poorly without the ball. We can't outshoot a good team 16-11 and lose the game 3-0.”
"Luckily, we have some guys coming back from injury and suspension that will help the squad moving into our conference games," he added.
What's Next: The Statesmen get their conference schedule underway with possibly their biggest task of the season as they take to the road to take on the defending national champions, the No. 1 Missouri Valley Vikings. The game is scheduled for Saturday Sept. 18, with kickoff planned for 7:30 p.m.