Men’s Socccer Mounts Strong Offense to Defeat Muskies

Erickson Andrews, Staff Writer

The men’s soccer team struck twice within the first 15 minutes against the visiting Muskingum University Muskies and held on to win in a 2–1 thriller this past Saturday night.

Sophomore Slade Gottlieb got the team off to a hot start by netting a right-footed goal off a pass from first-year Sam Weiss. This is the fifth goal of the 2013 campaign for Slade, who is in the midst of a breakout season.

The score quickly changed to 2–0 as sophomore John Ingham shot the ball past Muskingum’s goalkeeper five minutes later on a pass from senior captain Joe Graybeal. The Yeomen continued to threaten the weary defense of the visitors as they amassed a 9–2 shot advantage in the first half and 5–0 in shots on goal. “We really controlled the pace of play,” said Graybeal. “It was one of the best starts to a game that I have been a part of.”

As impressive as the Yeomen offense was in the first half, the Muskies rose to match them in the second half. They came out in the second half and began to implement their own tempo and style on the game.

Despite their early ball control, the Muskies were only able to manage one shot on the goal. Senior goalie Brandt Rentel was easily able to stop the shot. The Muskies did break through, however, as a loose ball bounced to the waiting foot of one of the Muskies’ players at the top of the goal box, and he managed to slip it past the diving Rentel.

The Yeomen quickly increased the intensity of their play and were rewarded with a penalty kick on a handball just two minutes later. Gottlieb took the shot and laced the ball toward the lower left corner, where, unfortunately for the Yeomen, the Muskies’ diving goalie was able to push the ball aside.

“Despite not capitalizing on the penalty kick, we still were able to capture the momentum,” said junior Sam Winward. “Our great conditioning contributed to us having more left in the tank toward the end of the game and we were able to fend off any scoring chances they had.”

This conditioning helped the Yeomen outrun the opponents as the game became more physical in the waning minutes. In total, there were 21 fouls in the game and three yellow cards.

With the win, the Yeomen improved their record to 3–1–1 on the season and remain undefeated at home. They next take the field at home on Monday against Bluffton University.