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Firebirds Men’s Soccer Outlasts Shippensburg, 3-2 in Season Home Opener; Coulibaly Nets Two Goals

Tansu Korkmaz, shown here scoring the game-winning goal on a first-half penalty kick.
Tansu Korkmaz, shown here scoring the game-winning goal on a first-half penalty kick.

WASHINGTON, DCTansu Korkmaz's penalty kick goal in the 35th minute was the difference in a gritty, 3-2 victory over Shippensburg by the University of the District of Columbia men's soccer team.


The Firebirds (2-0-1) overcame two different one-goal deficits in the first 26 minutes of play before Korkmaz (Istanbul, Turkey – Ozel Dogan Lisesi) scored the second unanswered District of Columbia goal and what proved to be the gamewinner.


Shippensburg's Derek Adams scored the first goal of the season allowed by Firebird goalkeeper and reigning East Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Week, Omar Gonzalez (Reston, VA – South Lakes HS), in just the 8th minute of play. Adams put in a rebound after Sam Talbot's direct kick.


Bakary Coulibaly (Hyattsville, MD – La Lumiere HS) answered for the Firebirds as he scored on a breakaway goal off of a beautiful thru ball by Elio Hernandez (Silver Spring, MD – Northwest HS) to even the score.


A District of Columbia penalty in the box resulted in a Red Raider penalty kick, and Talbot put Shippensburg back ahead, 2-1 in the 19th minute as he beat Gonzalez to the left corner of the net.


Back came the Firebirds a little over four minutes later, with Coulibaly chest-bumping in a cross from Byron Brown (Silver Spring, MD – Pocono Mountain HS) to force another tie, 2-2. The goal was Coulibaly's team-leading, third goal of the season.


After over nine minutes of scoreless action, Korkmaz would net the game-winner on a penalty kick, beating Shippensburg goalie Kevin Hollasch to the right side of the net for the go-ahead goal.


The Red Raiders held a 13-10 edge in shots and 8-1 corner kick advantage, but the Firebirds had the better chances all day long with nine shots on goal versus just four by Shippensburg.


Gonzalez (2-0-1) picked up the win with two saves and two goals allowed while backup keeper Kevin Hollasch took the loss with two goals allowed in just under 70 minutes of work. The Red Raiders starting goalkeeper, Andrew Foran played the first 20:13, making three saves and allowing one goal before being taken out of the game with an injury.


Next up, District of Columbia hosts Mercyhurst on Friday, Sept. 7 at 4 p.m.