Men's Soccer downs Marietta
It?s been five years since the Carnegie Mellon men?s soccer team finished anywhere but first in the University Athletic Association standings. So, even with the graduation of four key starters, expectations are high for the Tartans to continue their dominance of the conference and repeat their annual trip to the NCAA tournament.
On Wednesday night in Gesling Stadium, the Tartans took one of the first steps towards achieving this goal with a 2?0 blanking of Marietta College. Carnegie Mellon struck early, scoring in the eighth minute when junior forward William Schlough put away a loose ball in front of the box, the result of a misplayed corner kick by Marietta goalkeeper Brian Bugge.
Just 15 minutes later, the Tartans sealed the game with a head ball goal by first team All-UAA selection Jonathan Browne, a junior forward. The score came in the Tartans? customarily rapid fashion, as Schlough took a quick throw-in from first-year William Brackley and headed it across the box for the unmarked Browne to finish.
Still, despite the easy win, the Tartans were less than satisfied with their performance.
?It was a good win definitely,? said sophomore Chris Watts. ?But we missed a lot of chances and didn?t play up to our potential; as the season progresses we need to improve. Still, it?s good to start off with a couple of wins going into conference.?
Sophomore midfielder Vincent Chiodo added that the pressure of living up to the team?s recent success cannot be discounted. ?To live up to the high standards [of Carnegie Mellon soccer],? he said, ?the performance has to be better than what was on display Wednesday night. We did win but we need a little more than that to have a successful season.?
The two-goal lead proved more than enough cushion for the Tartans, who confidently continued to attack even with the big lead. The strategy paid off in the form of a 24?5 advantage in shots. More importantly, though, Marietta had no legitimate scoring chances, and managed just one shot from within the box.
In shutting down the Marietta attack, the Tartans made use not only of their strong back line, but also their uncanny ability to possess the ball. The Tartans hardly gave the talented Marietta midfield a chance to show off their playmaking ability, and instead forced the Pioneers into a defensive formation for much of the night. As a result, Marietta managed only one shot on goal, compared to Carnegie Mellon?s ten.
The win was the Tartans? second of the season, coming after a 1?0 victory at Geneva College. Sophomore Scott Kuppe recorded the game-winning goal 73 minutes into the game.
First-year goalie Matthew Bazin preserved the shutout for the team with three saves. Carnegie Mellon had less of an offensive impact this game, managing just four shots on net, but made the most of their opportunites to secure the victory.
The Tartans, now 2?0, next play at Washington & Jefferson on Wednesday, and begin their conference schedule on
October 2 against the University of Chicago. The UAA Coaches Poll projects them to finish first in the division for the sixth straight year.