Another nail-biting OT loss for men’s soccer
This past Saturday night, the Washington University men’s soccer team took on University Athletic Association (UAA) rival Carnegie Mellon University in front of a Parent’s Weekend crowd of 255 spectators. Coming off a surprising double-overtime loss to Greenville University on Tuesday, Oct. 4, the Bears were looking for redemption after a poor offensive showing.
For the Carnegie Mellon match-up, head coach Joe Clarke selected an experienced line-up. Midfielder Kevin Brege was the only freshman given a starting nod in what the Bears expected to be a hard-fought, physical conference game.
The first half of the game was no exception, as both teams came out playing hard. Sophomore midfielder and captain Elie Zenner was issued the game’s first yellow card in the 13th minute with a tackle that set the tone for the game. Two Carnegie Mellon players were also cautioned in the first half for questionable tackles.
For the most part, the first half consisted of half-chances in which both squads fired errant shots. The Bears were able to create a few scoring opportunities from corner kicks. Near the end of the first half, senior forward Nick Kalscheur directed a difficult header barely wide of the net. Going into halftime, the Bears held a slight edge in shots with seven to Carnegie Mellon’s four, but the score was knotted at zero apiece.
The Bears and the Tartans continued to create chances as the second half progressed, but neither team was able to find the net. Carnegie Mellon forward Andrew Park had two of the game’s best chances in the second half, but held on to the ball too long on both occasions. This allowed seniors John Horky and Seth Schreiber to cut down Park’s angle, leading to a pair of missed opportunities.
The game remained scoreless into the waning moments of the second half when sophomore Marshall Plow fired a long-range shot with 20 seconds remaining that challenged the goalkeeper and resulted in a rebound. The Bears, however, were unable to convert the chance and regulation expired without either team finding the goal.
Sudden death overtime ensued for the Bears for the second consecutive game, and coach Clarke’s squad looked to make up for their disappointing overtime loss to Greenville. However, the Bears were unable to get a shot off and spent most of the first overtime period pinned in their end defending corner kicks.
Junior goalkeeper Matt Fenn was able to make several key saves to keep the Bears alive, but Carnegie Mellon’s offensive pressure ended up being too much. Making up for his previous misses, Park was able to calmly collect a through-ball and finish with a hard, low shot to the far post to give the Tartans an exciting 1-0 victory.
Despite the disappointing outcome, the Bears (5-4-3, 0-2 UAA) should be able to take some positives away from the game. The team was able to play physical and create chances despite being considered the underdog. The Bears will have another chance to win their first UAA match of the season this coming Friday against Case Western Reserve University.
Although Case Western Reserve is traditionally the weakest team in the conference, they managed to beat the Bears last season and are coming off a 1-0 victory over New York University. Needless to say, the Bears will have their work cut out for them. Look for the Bears to fight for their first conference win this Friday at Francis Field at 5:30 p.m.
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