Men’s Soccer: Blackmer shuts down Valpo
Tyler Blackmer recorded his first collegiate victory the Wright State Raiders started Horizon League play 1-0 as WSU defeated Valparaiso 2-0 Saturday evening.
“I told the guys, ‘you cannot get too high, cannot get too low,’” WSU coach Bryan Davis said. “We’ve been low and (this) is a good feeling, but when we get back to work Monday, we need to rectify mistakes we made.”
Brett Elder and Michael Hayes were the two goal scorers for WSU.
The victory over Valpo broke a five-game winless streak dating back to WSU’s opening night win on Sept. 6 versus Marshall.
The job of being WSU’s starting ‘keeper belonged to Craig Feehan up until Sept. 20. Feehan had allowed two goals in the first half of a match against Northern Kentucky that evening and Blackmer has been between the pipes for WSU since then.
“(Blackmer is a) very good player, he will do a good job for us,” Davis said. “Craig gets a lot of credit tonight. Craig sat down, he hasn’t played the last two games but he has been pushing Tyler every day in practice. This is just as much of a win for Craig as it is for Tyler.”
Blackmer said the internal competition has been instrumental in elevating his play.
“It is helping us get better,” Blackmer said. “If we’re not fighting for that spot, no one is improving out here. That is what I came here for; I came here to get better.
WSU struck early in the contest as Elder took a ball from Chris DuPont and scored off his own rebound three minutes into the match. Even Elder was surprised by the goal as he thought he was offside.
“I wasn’t expecting the ball to do that, I thought the play had ended,” Elder said. “Chris just kind of hit it, when it came to me I thought I was way offside but apparently there was a guy on the far right keeping me on. You play to the whistle and I put it away.”
WSU continued to pound in the first half and was rewarded in the 37th. Hayes scored his first of the season when Eric Lynch centered Hayes at the penalty mark.
WSU outshot Valpo 8-1 in the first half and held a 2-0 halftime lead.
“The second goal is a little bit dangerous because we get [complacent] and they start pounding us,” Blackmer said. “It is just as easy to get three goals after we got two but we pushed hard and the shutout is all that matters.”
Valpo tried to speed up play in the second half and forced Blackmer to make a couple outstanding saves. The freshman was up to the task. The Crusaders outshot the Raiders 8-5 in the second half.