Men’s soccer drops second of four conference games
The ball again failed to bounce the way of the Washington University men’s soccer team in overtime as the Bears suffered a 2-1 loss to No. 18 University of Rochester Sunday on Senior Day at Francis Field.
The Bears fell to 0-2-2 in overtime games and 1-2-1 in the University Athletic Association, and head coach Joe Clarke will have to wait at least until Thursday for his 400th career victory. Clarke has 194 wins at Wash. U. after a 14-year tenure at St. Louis University, in which he compiled 205 victories.
“It’s very frustrating,” senior forward Jeremy Kirkwood said of the overtime disappointments. “You always want to be the team that’s celebrating. Guys want to be the hero and score that big goal.”
Instead, Rochester’s Alex Swanger played the hero role, scoring just 52 seconds into overtime for his third game-winning goal of the season. Swanger’s shot killed the short-lived boost of energy from a late Bears’ rally.
Rochester took the lead only one minute into the game after a Wash. U. foul, and both teams were scoreless for the next 80 minutes. The Bears finally broke through with a much-needed goal from freshman back Henry Cummings in the 82nd minute, which sent the game into overtime.
But the good vibes disappeared after a miscue by the Bears led to Swanger’s goal.
“It happened sort of quickly,” Kirkwood said. “We had it up in their end, and we tried to drop it back—I don’t know if it was a miscommunication or what, but somehow the pass just went in no-man’s land right to them.”
The Bears were in a better mood Friday, when they routed visiting Case Western Reserve University 4-1.
Kirkwood scored two goals, moving into a tie with freshman midfielder/back Jake Shapiro for the team lead at four. Freshman midfielder Kevin Goon and senior midfielder Manny Angel also scored.
The three-goal margin of victory was the second largest for Wash. U. on the year behind two four-goal wins in September.
“We came out really energetic and took it to them early on and asserted ourselves in the game,” Kirkwood said. “I think we were the better team, and we showed it. We had the ball most of the time, and we were really good with our passes. We were able to put the game away and get a big victory for once.”
Junior David Wang replaced senior Jono Jebson in goal for the weekend games after Jebson suffered a concussion in practice. Wang had seven saves and three goals allowed total, putting his season save percentage at .828 in over 522 minutes of play.
“We didn’t make too much a big deal of it because Wang has played a decent amount this year,” Kirkwood said. “We’re pretty confident in our backups in all areas of the field.”
The Bears, who already dropped out of the national rankings this week, fell to fifth place out of eight teams in the UAA. They have four road games to finish the regular season, with three against conference opponents.