COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – For the second straight season, the Ursinus College men's soccer team put three goals past Arcadia in a high-scoring non-conference matchup. Unfortunately for the Bears, the Knights did them one better this time around, netting a late winner in a 4-3 thriller on Patterson Field.
Sophomore Braden Burns doubled his career goal total with a pair for Ursinus (0-2-0) and senior Justin Molyneaux converted a penalty kick, but the hosts were unable to make a halftime lead hold up against the Knights (2-0-0).
Burns' second tally on a stifling evening lifted Ursinus to a 3-2 lead in the 59th minute, only for Arcadia to fire home two sensational late goals – the clincher coming with just over three minutes to play – to escape with a victory.
Arcadia had the better of the chances in the first half, outshooting the Bears by a 10-4 count. But the Knights still went into the halftime locker room trailing thanks to a pair of clinical finishers by the home side.
Burns' second career goal was a thing of beauty. Cooper sprinted down the center of the field and played a perfect ball down the right flank as Burns made an overlapping run. The sophomore made no mistake with it, sending a low shot across the goalmouth and into the lower left corner of the net to hand Ursinus a lead in the 17th minute.
Arcadia equalized about eight minutes later, despite an incredible defensive effort by freshman Mike Buck. Ryan Hammer got around senior goalie Brandon Lillian and sent a lofting shot towards the net, but Buck raced back to volley it back out. The ball fell back to Hammer, though, and he played in to an umarked Harun Abdullahi for an easy finish at the 23:45 mark.
The Knights had a shot ring off the crossbar and saw a pair of would-be goals go by the wayside, one when a header was disallowed due to an offensive foul and another as Buck tracked back for another stunning defensive save. But it was Ursinus which wrested the upper hand just before the break, as Arcadia was whistled for a hand ball in the box and a penalty was granted. Up stepped Molyneaux, who coolly slotted home into the left side for his second career goal on his first-ever PK attempt.
It was Arcadia's long-range proficiency that separated the sides in the second half. After Abdullahi steered a 25-yard right-footed shot into the lower left corner of the twine in the 53rd minute, Burns doubled his tally with a carbon copy of his first goal as he sent a bouncing shot from the right side of the box perfectly into the bottom left corner for a 3-2 Ursinus lead just six minutes later.
The Knights equalized in the 73rd minute on Hammer's long-range strike to the top right corner and came away with the win as Duncan O'Connor collected a rebound and directed a left-footed strike into the back of the net from about 23 yards out with 3:07 showing on the second-half clock.
The Bears had one last chance in the closing seconds, but a header following a free kick glanced just wide of the left post.
Arcadia finished with a 15-7 edge in shots and attempted eight corners to three for Ursinus. Lillian posted three saves in defeat.
Burns became the first Ursinus player with a brace since Noah Kimelheim scored twice against Cabrini in 2016.
Ursinus stays at home to face Susquehanna on Saturday.