COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – What a way to start.
Colin Klingman scored a pair of penalty kicks, Aidan O'Malley and Kevlin Devlin opened their collegiate accounts, and the Ursinus College men's soccer team rolled up a 5-0 rout of visiting Albright in a high-flying season opener under the lights at Patterson Field. The total goals and margin of victory matched the most by an Ursinus team since a 5-0 shutout of Gwynedd Mercy in 2012.
The Bears were on the front foot from the start, racking up 27 shots to just eight for Albright in winning their lid-lifter for the first time since 2016.
The excitement of a new season carried right over into the kickoff as the Bears brought wave after wave of pressure. O'Malley stung the palms of the Albright keeper with a left-footed shot, Braden Burns fired just wide from inside the box, and Aiden Cooper's deflected missile sailed just over the top – all within the first three minutes of game time. In the 10th minute, Christian Wady's inch-perfect through ball put Alexis Ayala in alone with the goalie, who somehow managed to get a hand on it and stop a surefire goal.
Ursinus' breakthrough seemed a formality, and it came in the 17th minute when O'Malley powered Ayala's outswinging corner into the top right corner of the net with a perfectly placed header for the first goal of his collegiate career.
The hosts doubled the margin in the 36th minute, when Griffin Bower was taken down in the box following a long pass down the left side from Colin Klingman. The three-year captain stepped up to the spot for the second time in his career and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way, tucking the penalty into the left side of the net.
Cooper's looping shot was inches over the top with 2:30 to play in the first half, after which the Bears had accumulated 16 shots – nine of them on target.
There was no let-down in the second stanza. Just over 10 minutes into the frame, Rocco Mesoraca stepped up to intercept a pass and immediately played a long pass forward for Cooper, who expertly drilled a right-footed shot into the lower left corner of the net for a 3-0 lead.
Two minutes later, Ayala clipped the cross bar with a left-footed strike, but the Bears would get another golden opportunity when the Lions were whistled for a hand ball in the box in the 62nd minute. Klingman took the ball again and converted a second time, this one to the right and just past the outstretched arms of Billy Mullen.
Devlin capped the scoring with his first career goal in the 71st minute, putting in his own rebound with a sliding shot after his initial effort was stopped following a scramble in the box.
Tyler Lewin finished with five saves to post a clean sheet in his Ursinus debut.
The Bears return to the pitch next Wednesday at Arcadia.