Men’s soccer triumphs over Wheaten College 3-0

| Contributing Reporter

Soccer celebrates win over Wheaton. (Student Life | Elaheh Khazi)

The Washington University men’s soccer team (3-3-1) continued their success by winning at Francis Field against Wheaton College. In a fast-paced match with exciting kicks, passes, and steals, the Bears were able to triumph over the Thunder, 3-0. 

The game began with an exhilarating atmosphere as WashU students and parents filled the stands to support the men’s soccer team. The teams walked on the turf, and soon, the match was in full play. 

“The guys came ready to play today, and they do that all the time, but [in today’s game], they especially showed this,” head coach Joe Clarke said. 

The Bears started strong with an immense offensive effort, keeping the ball near the Wheaton goal. Both teams played up to par, ensuring that the other did not succeed in scoring. However, in the 35th minute of the game, senior Carl Vestberg, assisted by senior Owen Culver, scored the first goal for the Bears. On a perfect corner kick from Culver, Vestberg jumped in the air and scored a header.

The crowd went wild as the whistle sounded, as the Bears charged up the field in celebration as they celebrated the first goal of the game.The Thunder, on the other hand, was struggling to face the strength of the WashU Bears. Wheaton continued its efforts to block the Bears from scoring again in the first half, and they maintained ball possession for most of the rest of the first half. 

After halftime, the Bears returned to Francis Field with enthusiasm and confidence to win the game. While the Thunder continued to attempt to score goals, freshman goalie Owen Ross blocked the one shot that the Thunder was able to deliver on goal. His tremendous efforts led to him earning his first career shutout victory. 

“It feels great to have another clean sheet and to get playing time, especially to prepare for the upcoming tournament,” Ross said. 

The Bears’ offensive front also managed to do well in the last half of the game. They were able to get in eight shots throughout the last 45 minutes, converting two into goals. 

In the 76th minute of the game, as both teams were exhausted but still fighting hard, Culver played a key role in another instrumental goal. From 23 yards out, Culver scored the first free-kick of the game for his second goal of the season. 

“We were pinned in at the end of the game there, holding onto the 1-0, and we needed to get another goal. It was awesome [to be able to score the goal that we needed],” Culver said. 

The team cheered Culver on and huddled up to celebrate his phenomenal free-kick. Parents and students in the crowd cheered on in the stands, creating a perfect supporting ambience for the Bears. This adrenaline and support carried onto the next goal of the game, as six minutes later, in the 82nd minute of the game, sophomore Zach Susee scored from the corner of the box, making the score 3-0. 

With the Thunder feeling the heat, its offensive front tried to make a comeback — but to no avail, as the Bears’ defensive front successfully blocked any shots to ensure their 3-0 victory. 

The WashU men’s soccer team will open its University Athletic Association season with a match against Emory University on Oct. 1 at Francis Field. The team is excited to continue its strong efforts in creating a good season, hoping to make it to the DIII national tournament. 

“We have had a lot of challenges this season, but our goal is to be the best Division III men’s soccer team,” Clarke said. 

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