Men’s Soccer Picks up another Conference Win
The Carnegie Mellon men’s soccer team traveled to St. Louis this past Sunday to face University Athletic Association (UAA) rival Washington University. The Tartans went into the game on fire with an incredible nine-game winning streak and added a tenth game with a 2-0 win over the Bears. The Tartans had lost to the Bears last year at home, so the team was eager to take back a victory.
As they have typically done this year, the Carnegie Mellon men brought the pressure on their opponents early. In the third minute of the game, Carnegie Mellon received their first scoring opportunity off a corner kick but failed to capitalize. Shortly after, a second corner kick was given, and this time the Tartans made sure to get on the scoreboard first. Senior forward Ryan Heuler swung in a dangerous ball which met the head of fellow senior Jon Simon, whose shot was initially saved by Washington goalkeeper John Smelcer. However, senior forward Ricky Griffin was quick to react and scored off the rebound.
The Tartans kept the pressure on after their first goal, and immediately came looking for a second. Senior playmaker Keith Haselhoff came close twice, but unfortunately the Washington goalie was able to save both. The dangerous Carnegie Mellon attack was finally able to break through again when Griffin notched his 15th goal of the season off a lofted shot from the right side of the box. Griffin's two-goal performance was rewarded with his third straight UAA Athlete of the Week honor. Griffin now leads the UAA with 37 points and 15 goals, and is tied for first with fellow senior Tartan Ryan Browne with seven assists.
Carnegie Mellon is now ranked ninth in the NSCAA/Adidas Division III Rankings, which makes them very good contenders for a high seed in the NCAA tournament. However, the Tartans will first have to finish off strong in UAA conference play before they can assure themselves a postseason spot. The men will look to cap off their undefeated home record this weekend when they host Brandeis University (Friday at 5 p.m.) and New York University (Sunday at 11 a.m.) at Gesling Stadium.