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(SNO) – Redshirt sophomore Luis Partida scored his first collegiate goal with 8:37 left in regulation as the Bloomsburg University men’s soccer team posted a 1-0 victory over visiting California University of Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Huskies snapped a four-game losing streak and improved to 7-9 overall and 4-6 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) standings. The Vulcans dropped to 2-8-4 overall and 1-8-1 in league play.
Despite the victory, the Huskies were eliminated from postseason play with Seton Hill’s victory over East Stroudsburg on Friday night.
Partida’s goal was set up beautifully by passes from sophomores Carter Luckenbaugh (York, Pa./Central York) and Lael Cherry (Gros Islet, Saint Lucia/Castries Comprehensive). Luckenbaugh picked up a loose ball near midfield and found former Saint Lucia youth international Cherry sprinting down the left wing. Cherry, whose father Venus was also a Saint Lucia international and a BU alumnus, then centred a pass into the box to a wide-open Partida who was able to fire a shot just beyond the reach of California goalkeeper Lucas Exner for his first career goal. After playing only three games last season, Partida has appeared in 15 games this season but had not registered a point until Saturday afternoon.
Luckenbaugh and Cherry had the assists on the goal. For Luckenbaugh, the helper tied him for the league lead in that category with seven – he led the conference with 11 assists as a freshman a year ago.
The Huskies’ defense and sophomore goalkeeper Brock Gould (York, Pa./Red Lion) did the rest as the Vulcans were completely shut down in the final half. Bloomsburg held a 13-0 shot advantage over the final 45 minutes with the Vulcans’ best scoring opportunity coming on their lone corner kick of the final half in the 65th minute. Gould did have to make two first-half saves as California outshot Bloomsburg, 8-3, in the opening 45 minutes.
The sophomore goalkeeper picked up his first shutout of the season – second of his career – with his two-save performance on Saturday. He improved to 5-6 on the season. Exner, meanwhile, made two saves in the loss for the Vulcans. He dropped to 2-8-3 on the year. Bloomsburg attempted 16 shots on the afternoon but only had three on goal while California attempted eight shots with two on net. The Huskies also held a 7-4 advantage in corner kick opportunities.
It was the final regular season home game for the Huskies, who honored their lone senior, Kevin Rodriguez (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove), prior to the opening kick.
Lael Cherry was part of the historic Saint Lucia Under 17 team which fell at the final qualifying round for the FIFA 2015 U17 World Cup. He has also played for the National U20 team, the Castries Central Senior Team and the Valley Soccer Senior Team.