Men’s Soccer Season Kicks Into Action


Courtesy of Amanda Phillips

The men’s soccer team and staff pose on Fred Shults Field.

Men’s soccer had a tough road laid out for them last weekend. Facing Grove City College, Chatham University, and Bethany College all in rapid succession, the table was set for a massive triple-header for the Yeomen. Coming off of an initial two-game losing streak, everyone was wondering if the team could correct its course and get the season back on track.

The weekend started off well with Thursday’s game against Grove City. The Yeomen won 3–2 in a dominant defensive performance, marking their first win of the season. Second-year goalkeeper Colvin Iorio proved indispensable that afternoon, blocking a career high of 10 shots to secure the victory. Additionally, second-year scorers Xander Francoeur, Toby Wells-Zimmerman, and team captain Anthony Pacewicz were definite standouts of the game, delivering the team a great win.

“We still have a lot of work to do as a team, but I’m proud of the flashes of individual brilliance and moments of great team chemistry we’ve shown thus far,” Wells-Zimmerman said.

The team gained further momentum the following Saturday in their game against Chatham University in a dominant weekend performance. Defensively the team was sound, holding the Cougars to a single goal and maintaining ball control throughout all 90 minutes. First-year Louis Berger aided defense with his first career save. Offensively, captains Pacewicz and fourth-year Jon Schafer both went to work, scoring a goal each to win the game 2–1.

However, the winning streak ended the next day against Bethany. Though the Yeomen were hot coming into the game — with Pacewicz named NCAC player of the week for his stellar performance — the Bisons shut them out 2–0 in a difficult loss. Despite the scoreboard, the team did show a great amount of promise going forward. The Yeomen defense played well, with three saves and solid defensive play in the first half. In the offense, multiple Oberlin players had their chance to find the back of the net, but a sound Bethany defense shut them down.

“It hasn’t been the start we were looking for, but there are many positives to take from our first few games,” Pacewicz said. “We have a young group with a lot of talent which we are still trying to piece together. There is still [much] to learn as a team and as individuals, but I see it starting to come together. When it does, we will be very tough to beat.”

In spite of some losses, the Yeomen have shown a great deal of potential across their first five games. True to Pacewicz’s words, the team is sure to be a formidable conference mainstay once they iron out the kinks. In addition, Head Coach Blake New is looking forward to the team’s development throughout the season.

“I am excited for what this team can accomplish as long as the lessons we are learning become cemented into our team psyche,” New wrote in an email to the Review. “We have some big tests coming up, and I am eager to see how we respond.”