Men's Soccer Rallies for Hard-Fought Draw

Men's Soccer Rallies for Hard-Fought Draw

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College men's soccer team came back from a two-goal deficit in the first half to salvage an exciting 2-2 draw with Washington College in a Centennial Conference battle on Patterson Field.

Braden Burns and Alexis Ayala scored about 10 minutes apart bridging halftime for the Bears, who had the better of the chances as both teams pushed for a game-winner before sharing the spoils. Ursinus (4-3-1, 0-1-1) remained unbeaten in four home contests this season, and Saturday marked the first time the Bears had erased a two-goal deficit to earn a result since a 2-2 draw ith Goucher in 2011.

Washington College (5-3-1, 0-1-1) drew first blood in the 8th minute as James Strine pulled a cross back for Greg Adams, who had an easy job of tapping it into the back of the net. In the 22nd minute, Tyler Lewin got a palm on Strine's corner kick, but Sean Garin was right there to head the rebound into the goal and put the Bears down a pair.

The hosts pulled one back late on in the first half, thanks in part to a defensive mislay by the Shoremen. Issy Brainsky played a long pass ahead for Burns, who was in along on the keeper after the ball bounced over a defender's head. Burns deftly dribbled around the keeper and sent a left-footed shot bounding toward the goal. A recovering Washington College defender was there in time, but the ball slid under him and into the back of the net for Burns' third marker of the year.

Ursinus wasted no time getting level, equalizing 4:30 into the second half when the Shoremen handled the ball in the box. Ayala stepped up to the spot and ripped the penalty kick into the top right corner to make it 2-2 with his second goal of the season on his first career spot kick opportunity.

There would be no go-ahead goal to be found over the remaining hour of game time, though there were a handful of chances. Lewin made back-to-back saves in a 30-second span in the 73rd minute, diving to his right to snare a low roller by Harrison Malone.

Burns gave it a go in the 75th, winning the ball on the end line and dribbling down the line before forcing Gavin Campbell into a save with a hard shot from a tight angle.

The Shoremen had the ball in the net in the 84th minute, but the potential winner was waved off for offside. With a minute left in regulation the ball fell kindly to Burns, who couldn't quite bring his shot down from inside the box.

Neither side had a shot on frame in the two extra periods.

Washington College held an edge in shots (17-11) and each team recorded six corners. Lewin finished with five saves for the Bears, with his counterpart making one.

The Bears return to the pitch on Wednesday against Swarthmore.