Men’s soccer freshmen lead the way in win over Westminster
In its first road game of the season, the Washington University men’s soccer team routed Westminster College 4-0 on Saturday. The Bears (3-1-1) snapped a two-game winless streak behind four goals by freshmen and a stellar defensive effort.
The Bears got off to a quick start with two goals in the first half. Freshman midfielder Grant Baltes scored in the 26th minute off an assist by sophomore back Cole Davis. Then freshman midfielder Jake Shapiro tallied his third goal of the season in the 37th minute on an assist from freshman back Henry Cummings.
Freshmen have accounted for seven of the team’s 12 goals this season.
“I think we’ve done a very good job physically just trying to match up,” freshman forward Nick Politan said. “Now I think we’re really starting to hit our stride as a team, and the freshmen are a big part of that.”
Wash. U. stymied the Westminster offense in the first half by not allowing a single shot on goal, and senior defensive back Nik Patel pointed to communication as the primary reason.
“We were working on our pressure cover and balance a lot in practice, and we went out there and implemented it,” Patel said. “We were all in sync last night, and I think that’s why it was so tough for them to get behind us.”
In the second half, the Bears kept their foot on the gas pedal and scored two more goals. Cummings added a goal in the 55th minute on an assist from junior midfielder Jonathan Lipsey. In the 76th minute, Politan connected on a goal off of Davis’ second assist of the game. Cummings, Politan and Baltes all had their first career collegiate goals.
Wash. U. went on to preserve its first shutout of the season, due in part to nine combined saves from goalkeepers David Wang and Jonathan Jebson.
Next up for the Bears is a rivalry game at Illinois Wesleyan University (3-2-1) on Sunday. The Bears were victorious in the teams’ last meeting in 2011.