By Tim Glon
LES PRESSES, Spain — Senior Timothy Hoffman (Strongsville) scored on a penalty kick just before halftime and junior Mitchell Colvin (Tipp City/Tippecanoe) added a goal three minutes into the second half to lead the Ohio Northern men's soccer team to a 2-0 victory over the senior Les Presses team on a beautiful Monday evening in the volcanic area in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains in northern Spain.
Earlier in the evening, the Polar Bears played to a 0-0 draw against a junior Les Preses squad.
"This was a wonderful evening with two good results against two quality opponents," ONU interim head coach Chris Majetka said. "We played all 45 of our players and saw many good things against good competition. I loved our energy level and we played with passion throughout both matches."
In the premier match of the evening, Hoffman converted a penalty kick just before the halftime whistle to give ONU a 1-0 lead at intermission.
Northern controlled play throughout most of the second half and made it 2-0 when Colvin finished off an assist from senior John Sternasty (Akron/Revere) in the 43rd minute.
The Polar Bears had several opportunities to add to their lead, but hit the post twice, a crossbar once and just missed several more chances wide or by great saves by the Les Preses keeper, keeping the score at 1-0.
The teams played 40-minute first halves in both contests and 35 minute second halves.
The opening game was against a junior team from Les Preses and was fairly even throughout. ONU had several chances to score, including a close miss just before intermission and another with about 10 minutes to play.
Les Preses had one outstanding opportunity late in the contest, but a save by sophomore keeper John Lombardo (Solon) kept the score even.
Ohio Northern will continue its trip to Catalonia and southern France on Tuesday with a training session with a local professional coaching staff before playing again on Wednesday evening at Sant Pol, just south of the team's home base of Lloret de Mar on the Coata Brava north of Barcelona.
The Polar Bears are currently on their sixth trip to Europe in program history and will spend 11 days and 10 nights in the Catalonia region of Spain near Barcelona and a day trip to France before returning to Ada on Aug. 12.
ONU will play two more matches and train once with a Spanish professional coaching staff before returning home. On Sunday evening, ONU was part of a crowd of more than 98,000 people to watch an exhibition match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal as part of the trip.