Tartan men’s soccer sweeps competition
Coming off a 13-win season and an NCAA Division III tournament appearance in 2005, the Carnegie Mellon men’s soccer team began its 2006 season with three wins — a good start for the continuation of the success they are becoming accustomed to under head coach Nick Gaudioso.
The Tartans opened their 2006 season on September 2 by defeating Geneva College 3–0 at Gesling Stadium. They followed that triumph with another home victory against the Washington & Jefferson Presidents 5–0 Wednesday night, and edged the Westminster Titans 2–0 on Saturday at Westminster.
Against Geneva, senior forward Will Schlough got the Tartans on the board when he took a cross from fellow senior Andrew Park and one-timed the ball into the right side of the net.
The Tartans got another goal shortly thereafter by first-year midfielder Ryan Browne to give themselves a two-goal cushion. They were able to maintain the lead the rest of the way to lock up their first victory of the season.
The Tartans got off to a slow start against W&J on Wednesday, but Park and Schlough changed that in the 34th minute of play when Schlough stole the ball and crossed to the wide-open Park, who threaded a shot inside the right post. The Tartans managed to score twice within 29 seconds right before halftime to take a three-goal lead into the intermission. They added two more goals, this time within 25 seconds of each other early in the second half, to seal the victory.
The Tartans’ final goal was one for the highlight reel. On a crossing pass from senior midfielder Sean Filipovitz, Park made a diving header that found its way into the back of the net. “It was a great ball from Sean and luckily I could hit it solid,” Park said.
The Tartans’ game against Westminster on Saturday afternoon also ended in victory thanks to some late-game magic between Park and Browne. With under 11 minutes to go and the game still deadlocked at zero, Park received a pass from Browne and punched it into the back of the net.
Park returned the favor less than a minute later, assisting Browne’s first goal of the season and the 46th goal of his career, which tops the school all-time record.
With four senior starters having graduated from last year’s team, including three defenders, the Tartans are relying heavily on some fresh faces to contribute to the 2006 season. The five first-years in the starting lineup, coupled with the seniors, present a balance of young and old to the team.
“Coming into the season we were kind of nervous because we lost all of our defense,” Schlough said. “We have a great freshman class so we’re all really excited about that, and fortunately we’ve been able to fill up some holes that we really needed to take care of.”
“We hope to perform well in all of our conference and non-conference games, hopefully win conference, and show well in the tournament — nothing short of that,” Park said. “We’re playing good soccer now. Hopefully we can keep
everything together, stay healthy.”
Schlough added, “The UAA games will be huge, so, as senior leaders, we’re going to try and prep the younger guys and make them understand how big those games are. We’re starting to pass the ball around a lot more, occasionally we hit some bumps here and there, but it’s going well so far and we’re all coming together really well.”
The men’s soccer team travels to Grove City College on Tuesday before returning home to face Juniata College on Saturday at 8 p.m.