Yeomen Undefeated in NCAC

Molly Bloom, Staff Writer

The men’s soccer team earned its second conference victory of the season Saturday against the Wittenberg Tigers with a solid 2–0 win. The Yeomen worked hard from the starting whistle, creating opportunities for themselves early on.

Senior Chris Campbell maintained possession under pressure and, in the ninth minute, threaded a nice ball through to classmate Ed Vitoria on the left side of the field. Vitoria took a quick, controlled touch before sending a beautiful shot that glanced off the far post and found the back of the net.

Wittenberg fought to tie it up, but the Yeomen defense held strong throughout the game. The four backfield players held the Tigers to just three shots on goal, all of which were saved by junior goalkeeper Brandt Rentel.

“I’d give Brandt a lot of credit for being composed on the ball and making good decisions,” said senior co-captain Aki Gormezano, who anchors the Yeomen from the back.

Gormezano, along with senior Andrew Wise, junior Ari Schwartz and sophomore Josh Wilkerson on the defensive end, worked to deny Wittenberg’s attempts to find the equalizer.

On attack, Oberlin continued to look for an insurance goal. Numerous attempts in the second half were close to putting the game out of reach for the Tigers, but the Yeomen couldn’t convert one until the 79th minute.

After a foul near the center circle, senior co-captain Matt Capozzi sent a service into the box and found junior Joe Graybeal despite the pushing and shoving players.

Graybeal headed it toward the net where it bounced off the crossbar, came down just inside the goal line, and bounced up and hit the side post before falling in a position outside of the goal. It was definitely a goal, but it was so quick that anyone could have missed it.

“All I saw after I hit it was the ball hitting the underside of the crossbar and then the post and then on the goal line, so I never actually saw it go in the goal,” said Graybeal. “Luckily the ref on the sideline saw it go in, but I was pretty nervous until he made the call.”

Decisively up 2–0, Oberlin maintained most of the ball possession for the rest of the game. But even as the final whistle blew, the drama wasn’t over.

Graybeal was holding the ball in the corner at the end of the match, while Wittenberg desperately tried to get it back. After Graybeal sent the ball out of bounds, a Wittenberg player purposefully threw the ball right into Graybeal’s face.

“I’d be really frustrated if a team was up and playing with the ball in the corner,” said Gormezano.

With this exciting win, Oberlin improves to 7–2–1 on the season, and their 2–0 conference record lands them on the top of the conference standings. The team will be back in action with a home game this Saturday against conference foe Kenyon College.