2008 Men's Soccer
Bluffton 2, Transylvania 1
Bluffton scores first-ever victory over Transylvania
By: Brandy Bidlack, sports information assistant
November 1, 2008
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's soccer team scored its first ever victory over Transylvania thanks to an incredible game-winning goal by freshman Steve Rucki (Killbuck/West Holmes) with three minutes to play on Saturday, November 1, 2008.
With the win, the Beavers established a new Bluffton mark with a 4-4 record in the conference. Bluffton's eight victories (8-8-1) are the most since the 1994 squad went 8-10 overall. Transylvania, which won the first seven meetings between the two schools by a cumulative score of 32-1, fell to 10-5-1 and 6-2 in the HCAC.
Transylvania scored the first goal of the match with less than five minutes remaining in the first half following a goal by Stu Hampson thanks to an assist from teammate Ryan Wood. It wasn't until the 80th minute that the Beavers retaliated and knotted the score at one when freshman Justin Ryerson (Perrysburg) scorched the back of the net from just outside the penalty box.
As the intensity of the game increased with the final seconds of the men's 2008 campaign dwindling away on the clock, a beautiful pass from senior Nate Flath (Wadsworth) connected with Steve Rucki who found the back post of the goal, giving Bluffton the 2-1 win over HCAC heavyweight and three-time defending regular season champion Transylvania.
Justin Ryerson and Jacob Graham (Gomer/Elida) led the Beavers with four shots. Nate Flath chipped in with two shots in his final contest and he had the lone Beaver assist, his ninth of the season. Goal keeper Brian Good (Elida) preserved the win with four saves in the contest.
Bluffton generated 13 shots, compared to just nine for Transylvania. The Pioneers forced 11 corner kicks and limited the Beavers to five. Bluffton was whistled for 10 infractions and received three yellow cards. Transy was called for seven fouls while receiving three yellow cards and one red card. The Beavers and Pioneers had six and four saves, respectively.
Bluffton finished the season in sixth place in the HCAC while No. 2 seed Transylvania will host Manchester in the semi-finals of the Heartland Conference tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.