Men’s Soccer Posts Shutouts for First Two Wins

James Kriz, Staff Writer

After opening the season with several tough outings, the men’s soccer team has found its stride, illustrated by the back-to-back victories secured this week.

On Saturday the Yeomen traveled to Ada, Ohio, to play Defiance College. Oberlin effectively controlled the tempo throughout the game, gaining a huge 15–2 advantage in shots and also gaining a 9–2 edge in corner kicks taken. First-year midfielder Sam Winward provided the lone goal of the game, putting away a breakaway opportunity in the 13th minute. It was Winward’s first collegiate score; the rookie demonstrated his ability to step up and make a play.

The Yeomen almost added a second goal around the 75-minute mark. Senior midfielder Oliver Miller-Farrell delivered a beautiful corner to sophomore forward Joe Graybeal. Graybeal’s shot was saved by the Defiance goalie, keeping the game close. But the Yeomen defense proved too much for Defiance to overcome, as Oberlin seized a solid 1–0 victory, their first of the season.

The Yeomen built on the momentum of Saturday’s victory with a strong performance against Muskingum University on Wednesday on the friendly confines of Fred Shults Field. The first half was marked by numerous scoring opportunities, but the Yeomen never managed to break through on the scoreboard.

The next 45 minutes proved to be more successful, however. Only 45 seconds into the second half, sophomore forward Matt Tunzi netted his first collegiate goal off a pass from junior midfielder Ed Vitoria. Tunzi’s shot nailed the lower left corner of the goal, giving the Yeomen a 1–0 lead they would never relinquish. Oberlin continued to put the pressure on Muskingum, getting more scoring opportunities throughout the rest of the second half but failing to capitalize due in part to a staunch defensive effort by Muskingum. The Yeomen back line stood tall to the end, securing their second consecutive 1–0 victory. In the end, the Yeomen outshot Muskingum 23–9, while holding a 9–5 edge in terms of shots on goal.

These two victories provided needed momentum for a squad that faces challenging conference games on the upcoming calendar. Vitoria asserted the team’s focus on the upcoming opponents of the season.

“I’m very happy about the recent wins, but we are more focused about continuing to improve day-by-day as we get closer to the start of our conference schedule,” Vitoria said.

The Yeomen will face their next opponent this coming Saturday, Sept. 17, as they travel to Cleveland to take on Case Western Reserve University.