Men’s Soccer Silenced by OWU
by Benjamin Pred

Last Saturday, Sept. 29, the Ohio Wesleyan University Bishops soundly defeated the men’s soccer team by the score of 3-0. Oberlin followed this loss with another one on Wednesday, this time to the Kenyon College Lords, by a somewhat tighter, but more surprising score of 1-0. The two losses brought the Yeomen’s record to 1-7 overall and 0-3 in North Coast Athletic Conference play.

The loss to Ohio Wesleyan was not a huge surprise to the Yeomen, as the Bishops are perennially the best soccer team in the NCAC, and one of the best in the nation. Oberlin did not play badly; their plan for a defensive strategy prevented several goals and was generally well executed.

However, a mistake by junior goalie Yoav Tal in the first half led to a goal by Bishops’ Philip Hoffman, but Tal still had seven fine saves.
Pat McCurdy also scored a goal for OWU, as did Brett Dunlap in the second half. The OWU goalie only had to make one save, as six of the Yeomen’s shots bounced of the bars or went out of bounds. Oberlin was out shot by a comparatively small measure, 11-7. Coach New said that he was “relatively pleased” with his players’ performance in that game.
However, the loss to Kenyon was another story entirely. The dual shutouts were both disappointing for the Yeomen, but the loss to Kenyon was particularly tough to take. In the words of Coach New, “It was a game we should have won.”

This was one of those frustrating games that players wake up screaming in the night about, the kind that coaches think about and grit their teeth to. Though a one-zero loss in soccer is nothing to hang one’s head about, this was a game that the team will remember for quite some time.

After six minutes and 43 seconds of playing time, Josh Chiavaroli scored a goal for the Lords, and that was effectively the end of the game.
In the second half Kenyon took up a defensive posture and allowed the Yeomen to keep possession of the ball for three-quarters of the rest of the game.
“They sat back defensively and we just couldn’t break it,” New said. Junior Rich Braithwaite had three shots on goal, but was unable to send one home. Tal again played the whole game and had a strong showing with six saves.
Though somewhat discouraged by the losses, the team looks to improve their NCAC record and play to the best of their potential tomorrow when they travel to Wittenberg at 2 p.m. The Yeomen return to home action on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. against Allegheny (Pa.).

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