Menís Soccer Loses to Anderson, ties CWRU
Five games into the season, the Oberlin men’s soccer team has been playing relatively well, but their lack of goal-scoring has resulted in a 1-1-3 record. The Yeomen suffered a setback in a 2-1 loss to Anderson University, at Anderson, Indiana on Sunday, Sept. 10. On Thursday, Sept. 14, Oberlin held Case Western Reserve to a 0-0 tie at home.
Despite the loss, Oberlin displayed some excellent play against Anderson. The team maintained possession for the majority of the game and arguably controlled the midfield, but was unable to capitalize on most of its offensive opportunities. Oberlin outshot the Ravens 17-10, while having a clear corner kick advantage, 12-3.
Senior Travis Jones of Anderson drew first blood with a goal on a pass from senior Manny Kratzat in the 11th minute. In the 25th minute, Anderson senior Tyler Hussey scored off a penalty kick. The Oberlin squad rallied to score in the 71st minute off an unassisted goal by senior Zach Tesler.
“Such a loss early in the season could be considered advantageous, as opposed to a loss later on. The loss indicates weaknesses that will be addressed in future games and also teaches players valuable lessons,” commented senior left-winger Noah Cecil.
Despite the setback, the team anticipates a good season. The squad runs a 4-5-1 formation with an aggressive center midfielder playing as an additional striker. The team houses a strong, experienced defensive core in its starters: juniors Ross Meyers and Tim Kovanda, senior Monty Lobe and sophomore John Lindner. Their years of playing together have fostered strong in-game communication. Coupled with those attributes and the core’s raw speed, the Oberlin backfield is a presence on the field. In goal is senior Clayton Combe, who had five saves on Sunday.
Offensively, the midfield comprises of Tesler, sophomores Mike Mullaley, Kyle Taljan and Zachary Lewis and junior Sam Zackheim. Tesler. Zackheim’s ability to win high balls in the air has helped Oberlin to control the midfield possession of the ball. Starting first year striker Skyler Dum is another great asset to the team as well.
Despite the team’s many strengths, finishing its opportunities has been an issue of late, as illustrated by its 17 shots and only one goal against Anderson. If the Oberlin team is still unable to finish by mid-season, its aspirations of conference success may pass them by. As Noah Cecil commented, “We’ve got to find a way to finish; our season hinges on it.”
The team’s scoring woes continued against Case Western. In what was a pretty even game for both teams, Oberlin saw Tesler hit the post and sophomore Luke Hoffman came extremely close to putting the home team in front. The Yeomen could not muster a goal in the two overtime periods, leaving them with an overall 1-0-2 record at home. Their defense has not allowed any goals on their home turf, but the team has only scored once.
Oberlin travels to Muskingum on Saturday.