Yeomen Take Season Opener 2–1


Courtesy of Ryan Baker

Senior forward John Ingham fends off a defensive slide from Otterbein midfielder Chance Bailey. Ingham scored the winning goal to secure a 2–1 win for the Yeomen’s season opener on Tuesday.

Sam Kreisberg

The Oberlin men’s soccer team won its season opener against Otterbein University 2–1 in Westerville, Ohio on Tuesday night, securing a 1–0 record for the Yeomen.

It was Otterbein junior Ross Pfeil who had the first goal of the match, capital­izing on an Oberlin turn­over and notching one past first-year goalkeeper Koryn Kraemer in the third min­ute. Kraemer was impen­etrable for the remainder of the game and finished the match with three saves.

A leveling goal from first-year midfielder Tren­ton Bulucea followed by a late game-deciding shot in the 75th minute from se­nior forward John Ingham ensured that the scoreboard showed in Oberlin’s favor af­ter 90 minutes.

Oberlin’s defense stayed strong and compact for the rest of the match and didn’t offer Otterbein’s attacking players many opportunities.

“Other than the first goal we gave up, I thought the rest of the game we showed a lot of patience and disci­pline and really didn’t give up many chances,” said men’s soccer Head Coach Blake New.

It took the Yeomen some time to gain offen­sive momentum; according to senior midfielder Louis Naiman, the first few mo­ments of the game were rocky at best. “We struggled during the opening 20 min­utes to find a good rhythm and didn’t do well to dic­tate the pace of the game,” Naiman said.

Despite the slow start, Oberlin’s luck took a turn in the 20th minute when Bu­lucea received a cross from junior Adam Chazin-Gray and hit it into the back of the net. This game marked both Bulucea’s first colle­giate start and first colle­giate goal.

“Scoring my first goal on my debut was a pretty special experience,” Bu­lucea said. “There were teammates hugging me and yelling in happiness … it’s something I’ll probably never forget.”

Heading into halftime, the game was still tied 1-1, but by this point Oberlin was firmly in control of play. Oberlin retained the major­ity of the possession and offensive chances through the first half and continued this trend into the second, which culminated in Ing­ham’s breakaway score.

“[There was] so much happiness and relief that our work had paid off and we finally took the lead,” In­gham said. “The best part, though, is that we held on and didn’t let them tie it up again. We fought really hard.”

The goal came after a narrowly missed chance by junior forward Sam Weiss, and though Naiman said he was concerned that the miss would break momen­tum, the team remained resilient.

The Yeoman’s toughness paid off for the whole team, and certainly for junior de­fenseman Galen Brennan. Brennan was awarded the hustle suit, a single game MVP award by the team for his solid and consistent play at center back.

“[Brennan] plays cen­ter defense, so it is hard to see, but he won every ball in the air and didn’t let much get by him at all,” Ingham said. “When you have such a great player at the base of your team it makes every­one else’s jobs much, much easier.”

The Yeomen’s next two games take them out to Southern California to play Occidental College on Fri­day, Sept. 4, and Pomona-Pitzer on Sunday, Sept. 6.

Coach New and the team are excited for this opportunity. “This trip out to California can do us a lot of good if we get results out there,” New said. “We’re playing two good teams that finished in the top 10 of their region last year, so it’ll be a good test for us, and if we have a good trip, we’ll come home on a roll.”