Men’s soccer suffers third straight loss to start UAA season

| Contributing Reporter

Senior Owen Culver in action. (Lydia Nicholson | Student Life)

This past weekend, the Washington University men’s soccer team (4-6-1) went head-to-head with the New York University Violets (4-5-3) in their third game of the University Athletic Association (UAA) tournament. The game took place in New York, and as spectators filed into the Frederick Douglass Field, they were buzzing with excitement, eager to watch the UAA game.

As the teams came onto the turf to kick off the game, they were ready to battle each other for the win. The Bears started off strong in the first half of the match. They managed to generate many scoring opportunities to score, with 10 first-half shots. However, the Violets fought back, ensuring their defense was rock-solid and impenetrable. Offensively, WashU senior Owen Culver threatened the Violets’ defense with six shots on-goal in the game, a match high. Additionally, senior John Daniels managed to attempt three shots throughout the game, but the Bears struggled to find the back of the goal. 

 “[We need to figure] out how to turn some of these performances into results and focus on the details. We feel like we have played well in a lot of these games, but ultimately, the game is decided by only a few key moments, and we just have to find a way to start getting these moments to go our way,” Culver said after the match.

 During the first half, the Violets had a strong offensive prowess. Thanks to the Bears’ defense, they did not manage to score. Freshman goalie Owen Ross continued to demonstrate his defensive skills, making a career-high seven saves while defending WashU’s goal. But despite the Bears’ strong offensive and defensive fronts, the Violets’ efforts were of equal caliber, and the first half ended with both teams tied at 0-0.

 Once halftime came to an end, both teams returned for the second half of the match, ready to break the tie. Twelve minutes into the second half, the Violets succeeded in scoring the match’s first goal. The Bears tried to take back control of the ball, but it was to no avail as they missed shot after shot. The Violets managed to score two more goals within the next 30 minutes, giving them a 3-0 lead.  

 Nevertheless, the Bears continued to fight back, outshooting the Violets by 10-8 in the second half. Their efforts were ineffective, as they could not find the back of the goal. In the 85th minute of the game, with the Violets leading 3-0, freshman Quentin Gomez scored his first collegiate goal off of a helpful assist from junior Landon Green, changing the score to 3-1. However, the Bears weren’t able to mount a successful comeback. The game ended with a final score of 3-1, handing the Bears their third loss to start the UAA season. WashU has not started conference play 0-3 since 2014.

 In spite of the challenging game and loss, the WashU men’s soccer team continues to work for its goal of excelling in the UAA tournament. 

“We get better every week. We are not getting the results to match our performance, [but] I am proud of this team. They have no quit in them,” head coach Joe Clarke said.

 Culver shared similar sentiments, saying, “Obviously, it’s upsetting. We knew how important the game was, and we had a lot of good periods in the game. But we couldn’t capitalize on them, and unfortunately, it didn’t go our way. I’m proud of the boys and the way we finished, fighting to the end.”

 The WashU Bears are set to play at Carnegie Mellon University on Friday, Oct. 20 before traveling to take on Case Western Reserve University on Sunday. Their upcoming matches will be their fourth and fifth matches of the UAA contest, and the Bears hope to bounce back and log their first conference win.

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