ERIE, Pa. – Freshman Richard Blanchard (Erie, PA/Cathedral Prep) hits a rocket from 25 yards out to give Penn State Behrend a 1-0 win against Franciscan on Saturday afternoon.
The game started slow for both the Lions (11-4, 6-0 AMCC) and the Barons (9-4-2, 4-2-1 AMCC), only registering three shots a piece in the scoreless first half. It wasn't until the 79:57 mark when Blanchard finished the game-winner after drilling a shot that caught goalie Thomas Dosedel off-guard.
Goalkeeper Chris Ralph (Murrysville, PA/Franklin Regional) made his lone save of the first half coming from a Franciscan corner kick. The ball was played far post off the corner where it was gathered and released for a shot on target, but Ralph was able to make the save to keep the game scoreless.
In the closing minutes of the first, Zhafar Dzhabarov (Erie, PA/Central) found an opportunity for Behrend when he was able to sneak into the box behind the defense. After beating a defender, he released a shot that was turned away by goalkeeper Dosedel.
Shortly after the second half started, Blanchard put pressure on the Barons' backline when he corralled the ball off a Ralph punt. After taking a few dribbles down the right side, he let off a shot that Dosedel was able to get his hands on to record his second save of the match.
With 25 minutes remaining, Leo Hermann had strong efforts into breaking the tie of the game when he tracked down a corner kick and headed it, but was wide of the net. It wasn't long after when Aaron Harris (Washington, PA/McGuffey) managed to get a goal for the Lions after tapping in a shot but it was called back due to offsides.
Senior captain Josh Kolarac (Imperial, PA/West Allegheny) notched his first assist of the year when he found the open Blanchard on the left wing. Blanchard received the ball, took a touch right and unloaded a cannon to give Behrend the win with 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Lion's defense was able to hold off the Baron's last chance efforts to try to even the score.
Behrend hits the road on Wednesday night as they head to Pitt-Bradford for a 2 p.m. AMCC contest.