By Scott Beaton
WESTERVILLE - The Ohio Northern men's soccer program came up just short against Otterbein Wednesday evening, dropping a tightly-contested match with a 1-0 scoreline at Memorial Stadium in Westerville.
The Polar Bears are now 11-6-1 overall and 4-4-0 in the OAC while the Cardinals improve to 8-6-0 overall and 5-3-0 in conference play.
The match remained scoreless late into the second half before Otterbein's Pau Piang netted the game-winning goal in the 80th minute.
Moments later, a right-footed strike from 15 yards out by freshman Bryan Kern (Rocky River) nearly equalized the match in the 86th minute, but a diving save from Cardinal goalkeeper Andrew McIlvoy held the Polar Bears off the scoreboard.
Ohio Northern outshot Otterbein 28-13, which included a 10-6 shots on goal advantage. ONU also generated a 6-4 edge in corners for the match.
Sophomore Zach Yoder (Goshen, Ind./Northridge) registered a team-high three shots on target. Meanwhile, Yoder and freshman Levi King (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central) each tallied a match-high six shots.
Freshman goalkeeper John Lombardo (Solon) stopped five of the Cardinals' six on-frame attempts in his 11th start of the season.
Ohio Northern has clinched an OAC Tournament berth following Wednesday's results around the league. The program will conclude the regular season with a trip to Alliance to take on Mount Union at Mount Union Stadium on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.