(PAINESVILLE, Ohio) - The No. 4 Lake Erie College men's soccer team will be hosting a Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) playoff match for the first time in program history on Saturday as the Storm will host Malone in a quarterfinal at 7 p.m. from Jack Britt Memorial Stadium.
Lake Erie (17-1, 13-1 G-MAC), the No. 1 seed, is in the postseason for back-to-back seasons in the G-MAC and it's the third time dating back to 2015 when the Storm was a member of the GLIAC. The Storm finished the regular season undefeated at home and the lone loss came on the road with a 1-0 defeat from Cedarville.
Malone (4-6-6, 3-6-5 G-MAC) is coming into the matchup as the No. 8 seed. The Pioneers clinched a playoff berth after a 0-0 draw against conference opponent Walsh last week. The tie was good enough for Malone to enter a tiebreaker with Ohio Dominican which the Pioneers had the edge over the Panthers.
Lake Erie has won both matchups over Malone this season. In the first match, it took extra time for the Storm to come out winners. In the 97th minute, Rodrigo Bonfim played a ball perfectly to Jonathon Carr who sealed the golden goal victory for Lake Erie.
The second face-off between the Storm and Pioneers resulted in an offensive explosion by Lake Erie in the second half of the match. Carr started the offense scoring in the 79th and again in the 84th minute. Ayden Von Essen also netted two goals for the Storm, and in the closing minutes of the match, Sander Van der Sluijs entered the box score with a goal extending the lead to 5-1.
Both teams feature key players on both offense and defense. The Storm are lead by Carr who is currently tied for the conference lead with 12 goals, five game-winners, and 29 points in 18 games played this season. Junior Nathan McFeaters is the leader on offense for the Pioneers. He has accounted for 10 goals, three game-winners, and 22 points.
Tom John's presence in goal this season has helped Lake Erie reach its highest ranking in school history. On the season John has produced 61 saves, a .910 save percentage, and 12 shutout performances, and has only allowed six goals this season. John currently leads Division II in shutouts and is tied with Virginia's Colin Shutler for the national lead regardless of division. In the box for Malone is sophomore Alexandre Durand who is currently second behind John in saves with 59 and is averaging 3.46 saves per game. Durand has allowed 14 goals in 13 matches.
General Admission to the quarterfinal match will be $7. Only students for either team will be allowed free admission with student ID. Coverage will be available on the Great Midwest Digital Network.
The winners of the quarterfinal will then compete on a neutral site at Roger Glass Stadium in Dayton, Ohio for the remainder of the G-MAC tournament.