Roman leads men’s soccer to 3-1 win
Senior forward Dylan Roman scored two goals, the first coming 16 seconds into the second half, as the No. 6 Washington University men’s soccer team defeated the Greenville College Panthers 3-1 on Saturday at home.
The Bears are now 6-0, and Roman has scored in five straight games, with six goals overall this season. The Panthers’ only goal of the game came in the last minute and snapped a 438-minute shutout streak for the Red and Green.
“I thought Greenville was the most challenging opponent we’ve had so far,” head coach Joe Clarke said. “They were very organized defensively and tried to force turnovers in our end of the field and launch counters…They also exposed themselves because they would commit a number of players in our half to defend, and then we went through them. Tonight we converted our chances well.”
After conceding the first shot of the game and a few deep throw-ins, sophomore forward Jeremy Kirkwood put the Bears ahead six minutes into the opening half. The play began with senior co-captain Michael Chamberlain weaving through the Panthers’ defense and passing the ball to junior Zachary Query at the top of the box. Query proceeded to lay it off to Kirkwood, who one-timed the ball into the back of the net.
“They pressed us really hard at the beginning; we got a goal that wasn’t really with the flow of play,” Roman said. “Afterwards we kind of held our own.”
After the goal, the Bears began to dictate the rhythm of the period, outshooting the Panthers 12-6 and winning the edge in corner kicks 4-0. Despite a penalty appeal, some dangerous crosses and a number of blocked shots for both sides, the halftime score remained 1-0 in favor of Wash. U.
Sixteen seconds into the second half, the Bears doubled their lead. Sophomore midfielder Michael Flowers slid a through ball into the path of Roman, who toe-poked it into the bottom left corner of the net.
“We run passing patterns all the time in practice, so I knew Michael Flowers would be looking for the overlapping ball,” Roman said. “He slipped it in, and I managed to toe-poke it into the back of the net. It was good because not only was it left footed, which I never do, but it also was an important goal to go up 2-0, especially that early in the half.”
Eight minutes later, Wash. U. went up 3-0 as Roman bagged his second goal of the night. The Greenville defense failed to clear a deflected shot from its penalty area, and Roman hit a right-footed volley into the roof of the net from 18 yards out.
“I’ve had that chance in the past and whiffed completely,” he said. “This time I was able to learn from my mistakes, and this time I was able to turn myself around and hit it with power on goal.”
After the third goal, Clarke took out a number of key starters, including defenders Jon Geremia and Kenji Kobayashi. The Bears were outshot 7-4 for the remainder of the game and conceded a goal on a free kick with 24 seconds remaining. The 30-yard, left-footed effort curved around the wall and inside the post, past backup goalkeeper Michael McCarthy.
“We’ve really been working on pressing the ball all over the field, putting them under pressure,” sophomore Jack Fischer said. “They got a goal with  seconds left which was a little unlucky, but I think we played really well overall.”
Wash. U. hopes to continue its unbeaten start under the lights of Francis Field on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 7:00 p.m. against Westminster College. The Blue Jays are coming off a 1-0 loss to Birmingham Southern College and have posted a 3-2-2 record this season.