COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College men's soccer team played visiting Swarthmore to the hilt deep into the second half, but a dazzling strike broke the deadlock and propelled the Garnet to a 3-1 Centennial Conference victory on Wednesday night.
Jerry Bardol netted his first career goal for the Bears (4-4-1, 0-2-1), who admirably kept Swarthmore off the board until falling victim to a run of three goals in just over eight minutes of game time.
Despite playing much of the contest in its own half, Ursinus had a prime opportunity to go ahead midway through the first half. Out of very little, Colin Holtzman played a sublime pass ahead for Aiden Cooper, who was brought down in the box to grant the Bears a penalty. Alexis Ayala sent a hard shot to the lower right corner of the net, but Swarthmore keeper Max Kral was able to dive and deflect it away to safety.
The Bears managed to frustrate their hard-charging foes for the first half of the second stanza, but had little they could do about a shocking blast from Michael Gross, who ripped a long-range shot past a diving Tyler Lewin for a stunning opener in the 68th minute.
Just three minutes later the Garnet were at it again, with Joe Barile dribbling into the left side of the box and threading a pass for Ayo George, who easily tapped it in from out in front to double the margin. Conor Gill added a third less than three minutes after that.
Pushing for a consolation prize, Ursinus found it when Bardol gathered a loose ball in the box, brought it down and volleyed it just inside the right post to open his collegiate account with 6:35 left.
Lewin made seven saves against a dynamic Swarthmore attack that piled up 18 shots (10 on target) to four for the Bears.
Ursinus continues CC play at Dickinson on Saturday.