Ingham’s Late Goal Puts Men’s Soccer on Top


Courtesy of OC Athletics

Senior Sam Winward dribbles the ball in a game earlier this season. The Yeomen head into Saturday’s match against the Wittenberg University Tigers with a 3–3 record.

Casey McGuire and Tyler Sloan

Following a rocky start to its season, the men’s soccer team managed to tally a win at home on Tuesday, Sept. 23 against the Heidelberg University Student Princes.

With last week’s defeats against Grove City College and Otterbein University behind them, the Yeomen stepped onto the field with a renewed sense of energy and purpose to take on the visiting Student Princes under the lights at Fred Shults Field. However, it took 89 minutes of play before the Yeomen found the back of the net with a game-winning goal from junior John Ingham.

After a tense match of equal possession and numerous scoring opportunities for both the Yeomen and the Student Princes, junior Yeoman Slade Gottlieb chipped the ball over a defender to connect with Ingham, who scored to down Heidelberg in the game’s final minute. This goal was the 21st of Ingham’s career and his fifth of the season. Gottlieb tallied his fourth assist of the year on the game-winning play and was satisfied with the team’s resilience in getting the win.

“After a series of unfortunate, disappointing losses, we came together as a team and responded very maturely. I think that we have set a tone for the rest of the season that I believe is positive, uplifting and is something that we can build off of,” Gottlieb said.

College junior and co-captain Sam Bernhard also commended his team for staying disciplined despite the tough competition. He credited the win to senior goalkeeper Oidie Kuijpers’s standout performance and the offense’s ability to capitalize on scoring opportunities at critical moments.

“Our team won because of a good performance from our goalkeeper [Kuijpers]. And even though we gave away more shots than we took ourselves, we didn’t give away too many good chances, and then we finally scored when it counted,” Bernhard said.

The match marked Kuijpers’s third shutout of the season as he pulled off 10 saves to keep the Student Princes off the scoreboard. Kuijpers has big shoes to fill this year since the Yeomen graduated their All-American goalkeeper Brandt Rentel last spring; he has transitioned into the role well with a .806 save percentage so far this season.

After last year’s record-breaking season, during which the Yeomen went 14–4–4 and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament, this year’s shaky start has increased pressure on the talented squad to continue raising the bar. For second-year midfielder Dan Lev, this meant that Tuesday night’s win carried significant weight.

“[Making it to the NCAA tournament last year has] put really high expectations on what we’re doing this season, and it has put a lot of pressure on us to succeed and to replicate our results. There’s a long way to go,” he said.

With only six games played so far this season, the team will play 11 more games before potentially advancing to the North Coast Athletic Conference playoffs or the NCAA tournament.

Last year, the Yeomen just missed the cut for the North Coast Athletic Conference finals when they lost a playoff contest against the rival Kenyon College Lords, and just made the cut for that national tournament when they were given an at-large bid.

Looking forward, the Yeomen will begin their conference play against the Wittenberg University Tigers at home at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27. Last year, the Yeomen tied the Tigers 1–1 after two rounds of overtime play.