Sports

Men’s Soccer Kicks off Season to Great Start

An opposing goalkeeper reaches for the ball during a home game. (credit: Tommy Hofman/Assistant Photo Editor) An opposing goalkeeper reaches for the ball during a home game. (credit: Tommy Hofman/Assistant Photo Editor) Sophomore forward Alex Abedian chases after the ball during a home game against St. Vincent College. (credit: Tommy Hofman/Assistant Photo Editor) Sophomore forward Alex Abedian chases after the ball during a home game against St. Vincent College. (credit: Tommy Hofman/Assistant Photo Editor)

The Carnegie Mellon men’s soccer team is off to a flying start as it begins the season with a solid 5–0 record. The Tartans are now No. 4 in the nation according to the NSCAA/[ITAL]HendrickCars.com[ITAL] Division III rankings, the highest in the school’s history.

The Tartans began their season at home against the Washington and Jefferson College Presidents with a comfortable 3–0 win. However, it was not until the second half that the Tartans got rolling, with the first goal coming in the 62nd minute from junior forward Kyle Young. Shortly afterward, they were able to gain a comfortable margin, with goals coming from the first-year duo of Scott Gerfen and Max Tassano. Sophomore keeper Zach Stahl recorded his first shutout of the season, but also incurred a minor injury that forced him to miss the next game.

The Tartans’ next test was the Radisson Invitational, a two-day, four-team annual tournament hosted by Carnegie Mellon. On the first day, the Tartans played against Mount Union in what turned out to be a back-and-forth battle that was decided on senior Max Betzig’s penalty kick late in the second half. The next day, Carnegie Mellon went on to an easy 5–0 shutout against St. Vincent College, with first-year winger Joey Paladino tallying his first two goals of the season.

After another comfortable 3–0 win against the Gators of Allegheny College, the Tartans faced the resilient Westminster University. The Tartans were down a goal at halftime faced the resilient Westminster University. The Tartans were down a goal at halftime, but, thanks to another penalty kick goal by Betzig, they were able to level early in the second half.

Ninety minutes wasn’t enough time to settle the match, so the game headed into overtime. The Tartans were fortunate for a second time that game when Westminster allowed a goal off a Carnegie Mellon corner kick in the 94th minute. The Tartans went on to win the match 2–1, recording their first away-game win of the year.

Carnegie Mellon now faces a five-away-game streak before the team returns to home play, including a two-game tournament hosted by head coach Arron Lujan’s alma mater, Colorado College.

“It’s a nice opportunity for us to have, challenging ourselves against teams from out West that we usually don’t get to play. We also don’t usually travel that far, so the boys are all looking forward to this experience,” said junior midfielder and starter Carmen Minella.

Junior forward Brad Edelman and first-year Joey Paladino currently lead the team with three goals, and Stahl has already recorded two shutouts this season. The Tartans’ next game is this Friday at Colorado College.