The Oberlin Review

Men’s Soccer’s Historic Season to Continue into NCAC Playoffs

Yeomen+junior+defender+Josh+Wilkerson+dribbles+the+ball+against+the+Ohio+Wesleyan+Battling+Bishops.+The+team+tied+0%E2%80%930+after+a+drawn+out+match.
Yeomen junior defender Josh Wilkerson dribbles the ball against the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops. The team tied 0–0 after a drawn out match.

Yeomen junior defender Josh Wilkerson dribbles the ball against the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops. The team tied 0–0 after a drawn out match.

Simeon Deutsch

Simeon Deutsch

Yeomen junior defender Josh Wilkerson dribbles the ball against the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops. The team tied 0–0 after a drawn out match.

Tyler Sloan, Staff Writer

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The men’s soccer team clinched its spot in the North Coast Athletic Conference playoffs after defeating the Allegheny College Gators in a 3–1 victory on Wednesday, Oct. 30. This is the first time since 2006 that the Yeomen have advanced this far in conference play. The Yeomen are currently 13–2–3, matching the wins of the 1988 squad with a 13–3–1 record.

The Yeomen set the pace within the first 15 minutes of play when sophomore John Ingham netted his 14th goal of the season off an assist from senior captain Joe Graybeal. Graybeal struck again when he combined with rookie first-year Adam Chazin-Gray, allowing Chazin-Gray to tally his third goal for the Yeomen this season with a rip from 18 yards out.

The half closed with Allegheny inching its way back into the match when Paul Teufel managed to sneak the ball past senior goalkeeper Brandt Rentel. However, the Yeomen quashed any hope for the Gators when Ingham tucked away his second goal of the game in the last two minutes of play.

Ingham’s 15th goal of the season secures his position as the top goal scorer in the conference as well as ties him at third place for the goal-scoring record at Oberlin College, untouched since 1977.

“It feels fantastic to be one of the best teams in the history of Oberlin,” said Ingham.

This is also a momentous season for Head Coach Blake New. This has been his most successful campaign during his tenure at Oberlin. New has led the team to success with the aid of Assistant Coach David Wilson. The two have been forced to experiment with different starting lineups due to various injuries and suspensions that have sidelined key players.

Yeomen faced challenges after sophomore Louis Naiman broke his collarbone in a match on Oct. 19 against DePauw University. Ingham sat out for the subsequent match against Denison University, the Yeomen’s only conference loss, due to suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card in the DePauw game. Junior center midfielder Santiago Gonzalez fractured his ankle in two different spots after a harsh collision with a member of the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops on Saturday, Oct. 26.

However, after a rough patch with a number of influential players missing key games, the Yeomen have had extremely successful results this season. Oberlin pulled off a scoreless draw with number one nationally ranked Ohio Wesleyan.

First-year midfielder Nick Wertman, who has started the last 17 games for the Yeomen, attributes the team’s success to a number of reasons.

“It’s roughly 10 percent luck and approximately 20 percent skill, but definitely 15 percent concentrated power of will,” Wertman joked.

Both Ohio Wesleyan and DePauw have qualified for the NCAC playoffs. The Yeomen could potentially face either of these opponents again depending on the seeding taking place on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Looking forward, the Yeomen will face the Kenyon College Lords in their regular season finale on Saturday, Nov. 2. Since the Yeomen have already secured their place in the NCAC playoffs, most of the pressure to defeat the Lords has been removed; however, there is still a lot riding on the game.

“Kenyon is the most important game of the season,” Rentel said. The away game will determine if Oberlin will host the first round of the NCAC playoffs. If the team can pull away with a win against the second-place Lords, the Yeomen will earn a home-field advantage. The kick off is set for 3:30 p.m. at Kenyon.

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