Men’s Soccer Rolls Over Tiffin

Phoebe Hammer

The Oberlin College men’s soccer team celebrated its most decisive victory of the season on Wednesday, Sept. 21, defeating Heidelberg University in a 3–0 shutout in nearby Tiffin, Ohio. Despite the final score, the game was a brutal fight to the finish.

“It was a scrappy, hard-fought win,” said sophomore goalie Brandt Rentel. “Sometimes you just have to get it done, even if it doesn’t look pretty.”

Both teams were aggressive and physical in the first half. There was a relatively even distribution of shots on goal in the first 45 minutes, although Oberlin had the slight edge in ball possession. Both defenses played sound soccer, and with a 0–0 tie at halftime it was still anybody’s game. Then the Yeomen turned up the heat.

The deluge began in the 62nd minute, when senior captain Oliver Miller-Farrell lofted a perfect ball to the back post on a free kick, where senior defender Kiefer Forsch headed it into the net. It was Forsch’s first career goal, having played on the backline for the past four years. This beautifully finished goal turned the tide for the rest of the contest.

“The goal really dealt a blow to Heidelberg, and roused a huge boost in morale for our team,” sophomore defender Evan Tincknell said.

Just a few minutes later, the Yeomen’s offensive pressure paid off again, this time forcing an own goal after a well-executed attack. With this 2–0 lead, Oberlin played with even more confidence. Senior Shahab Raza ended the scoring for the Yeomen at the 76th minute after following his shot on a missed penalty kick.

In previous games, “finishing” had been the biggest problem on the field, as the team had chances that were not always taken. This week, Head Coach Blake New planned to turn things around.

“In the last few practices, we have been focusing on ‘possession with a purpose’ and creating our own opportunities,” explained first-year midfielder Dylan Tencic.

The Yeomen’s practice has paid off in the short term, evidenced by their recent shutout victory. However the team will need to prove themselves over the long term to put in a successful conference run. “It was a huge game for us,” Rentel said. “Not only because we won 3–0, but because our conference season starts on Saturday. We needed to have this momentum going into it.”

The team admits doubts began to creep in following three straight one-goal losses earlier in the year. Now things are picking up, and just at the right time.

“We accomplished what we set out to do. We hit all our marks,” Rentel stated.

This Saturday, Sept. 24, at 4:00 p.m. the Yeomen will take on Wabash College at Fred Shults Field as part of Homecoming Weekend, followed by another home contest on Wednesday, Sept. 28, against Notre Dame College.