Soccer starts off season strong

Senior Casey Garth maneuvers the ball past a Denison defender. The Tartans  ultimately lost 1–0. Senior Casey Garth maneuvers the ball past a Denison defender. The Tartans ultimately lost 1–0.

After a very strong preseason, the Carnegie Mellon men’s soccer team made sure to maintain their great form in the first two weeks of the season. After six games, the Tartan men have beaten a nationally ranked team, won an invitational, and are now 5–1.

In their first game of the season, the Tartans took on Washington and Jefferson College on the road, defeating them three goals to none. Goals were scored by seniors Ryan Heuler (two) and Ryan Browne (one). Three days later, the Tartans took on one of their most challenging opponents of the entire season, number 6 Ohio Wesleyan, in Ohio Wesleyan’s Fred Myers Invitational tournament. Although the Carnegie Mellon men were outplayed, the score line definitely did not tell the story. Both teams came out strong, but Ohio Wesleyan got the crucial first goal. Frustration continued to mount as Ohio Wesleyan got a second goal and then a quick third off a questionable penalty call in what ended up being a 4–0 Bishops’ victory. The next day, however, the Tartans came out and won comfortably against Rutgers-Camden 2–0. Ricky Griffin and Brett Roller got their first goals of the season.

The momentum carried over into the second week of the season when the boys won all of their next three games. In their home opener, the Tartans rattled Westminister College 4–1. Goals came flooding in early as Keith Haselhoff scored just 43 seconds after kickoff. The Titans then answered back four minutes later. First-year John Crawshaw then scored a wonderful goal off a cross from Ricky Griffin in the 10th minute. Jon Simon and Ryan Browne put away two more to make it 4–1. The game was also the first game back from injury for senior forward Pat Lutz. Lutz had a terrific game as he consistently put pressure on a nervous Westminister back line and he ended the game with two assists.

Hosting the Radisson Invitational this past weekend, the Tartans started things off with an upset victory against number 18 Johns Hopkins on Friday. Lutz got the Tartans on the score sheet with a fantastic header from outside of the box. The next day, the Tartans easily defeated Penn State-Altoona, 6–0. After going up by four in the first half on goals scored by Griffin (two), Lutz, and Browne, the Tartans put in their reserves, made up mostly of their younger players. The reserves played beautiful soccer in the second half as fan favorite Kevin Pierce and Brad Edelman got their first goals of the season. A lot of credit should also be given to the Carnegie Mellon back line and senior goalie Maks Khurgin as the defense collected their fourth shutout win of the season.

Amid the success of the soccer team, a very exciting story has been developing off the pitch as a group of first-years created an unofficial “football [soccer] supporters group” called “the Tartan Army.” The “Army” has come out to every home soccer game and has made sure to sing their voices out. Currently, their numbers are small, but they are recruiting very heavily. Membership is free and the only requirement is to wear red or maroon to the games and to sing and chant enthusiastically.
The Tartans’ next match will be away against the Gators of Allegheny College this Saturday, Sept. 19.