By Blake Moore
ADA - The Ohio Northern men's soccer program dropped its first match of the 2018 season Friday, September 7, falling to Hope (Mich.) 1-0 at Kerscher Stadium in Ada during the first day of the annual ONU Invitational.
With Friday evening's loss, ONU moves to 1-1-1 on the young season while Hope (Mich.) improves to an undefeated 3-0-0 overall.
The Polar Bears battled the Flying Dutchmen in a scoreless affair for over 80 minutes, but the visitors finally broke through in the 84th minute when Logan Bylsma found the back of the net. Northern would try to rally late as they registered four shots in the final six minutes, but the comeback attempt would fall short.
Despite the results on the scoreboard, the Polar Bears managed to outshoot their opposition by a 16-14 margin. Meanwhile, the Flying Dutchmen held the advantage in corner kicks, earning nine while Northern tallied six.
In net, senior goalkeeper and reigning OAC Defender of the Week William Velotta (Gates Mills/Gilmour Academy) posted three saves and conceded just the single Hope strike.
The Polar Bears will return to action Saturday, September 8 when they face off against No. 7-ranked Calvin (Mich.) at 7:30 p.m. as part of the ONU Invitational. The second day of tournament action kicks off with a 5 p.m. showdown between Hope (Mich.) and Millikin (Ill.), who will also return to contend for the invitational title.