Offensive Explosion Leads Spartans Past Heidelberg; Bell Ties Record

(L-R): Vinny Bell and Eric Erb
(L-R): Vinny Bell and Eric Erb

TIFFIN, Ohio – The Case Western Reserve University men's soccer team posted a season-high six goals, including two scores and an assist from All-American senior forward Vinny Bell (Parma Heights, Ohio/Valley Forge), en route to racing past home-standing Heidelberg University by a 6-1 score on Saturday at Mayer Field.

Bell's two-goal performance Saturday gives him 11 goals on the season to go along with four assists. Each total is a team-high mark, and the 11 goals tie him with RJ French in 2006, Kevin Bigart in 2006 and Mark Ruegsegger in 1992 for the Case Western Reserve single-season record. In addition, Bell moved past French for second all-time in Spartan history with 34 career goals and trails only Bigart (2005-08), who tallied 35 career goals.

With the win, the Spartans improve to 7-1 overall and will return to action on Wednesday, September 28, when they take on the nationally-ranked Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops at 7:30 p.m. at Case Field. With its loss, Heidelberg falls to 2-4-2.

As has been the norm this fall, the Spartans got on the board early in the third minute when junior midfielder Rene Silva (Hudson, Ohio/Western Reserve Academy) scored an unassisted goal on a shot that found the upper corner of the Student Prince goal for a quick 1-0 advantage.

Case increased its lead to 2-0 just over 10 minutes later on an own goal. The visitors then bumped that lead to 3-0 just 1:21 later when Bell notched his first score of the afternoon on an assist by Kostis Theoharides (Brookline, Mass./Brookline). The assist was Theoharides' second helper of the season.

Heidelberg got on the board with just over 20 minutes elapsed when Larry Baxter scored on an assist from Nicholas Samaniego. The score remained 3-1 at the halftime break.

Quickly out of the break, the Spartans made it 4-1 in the 49th minute when Bell tacked on his second of the match. The final two goals for Case came from junior forward Eric Erb (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington). The third-year Spartan laced his second goal of the fall in the 63rd minute with an assist from Bell. Erb then tallied the sixth goal of the match for the Spartans and his third of the year nearly 10 minutes later on a double assist by freshman forward Patrick O'Day (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior) and sophomore midfielder Dominic Carusone (Kettering, Ohio/Dayton Carroll). The assist was O'Day's second and Carusone's first of the season.

In net, Spartan senior goalkeeper Ben Yabrow (Marietta, Ga./George Walton Comprehensive) played 69:05 between the pipes and collected two saves to earn the win before being relieved by junior Ryan Koepka (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) for the final 20:55 of action. Heidelberg's Ryan Smith played all 90 minutes and made four saves.

Case outshot Heidelberg by a 17-6 count on the afternoon but Heidelberg managed eight corners compared to six for the Spartans.