The No. 6-ranked men’s soccer team looked to bounce back from their latest draw against St. John’s as they headed to No. 5 University of Chicago for another tough game.
In the opening minutes of the match, senior Johnny Rummelhart drew a free kick near the Maroons 18-yard-line where senior Jorge Simon netted his first goal of the season, putting the free kick in the back of the net and giving the Duhawks an early 1-0 lead. The Duhawks kept up their high-pressure style of play, tallying nine shots for the half and keeping Chicago scoreless.
It seemed in the second half the Duhawks were able to find their scoring groove, netting three more goals in the 72nd, 75th and 85th minute from senior Richard Lenke, junior Austin Jacobi and senior Nick Popa. The 3 late goals put the game out of reach for the No. 5 Maroons.
“Beating Chicago was a big win for us,” said Simon. “It let us know that we can compete with the top teams in the nation. But we take the same mentality going into each game no matter how big they are. Always have to focus on ‘one game at a time’ and not look ahead to other games on the schedule. I think this keeps us grounded throughout the season, every game matters and we have to get up for each game.”
The men then headed to Greencastle, Ind. Saturday to face the DePauw University Tigers. With a more compact style of play, the Tigers succeeded in shutting down the Duhawks high pressure style of play and limiting any scoring opportunities the Duhawks looked to have throughout the game.
The Tigers tested the Duhawks back line and sophomore goalkeeper Jacob Peterson early, as they capitalized on a counter attack, scoring in the 13th minute of the game. After getting the early lead, DePauw settled in and played more defensively, in hopes to completely eliminate any type of Duhawk offense. The first half remained scoreless for the Duhawks causing some changes to the Duhawk formation late in the game.
With 20 minutes left in the match, the men were still looking for the equalizing goal which resulted in removing their sweeper, senior Sam Koenig, and adding a fourth man to the attacking line. The men were able to get some quality chances but continued to struggle in finding the back of the net. With minutes remaining, Simon rocketed a shot past the Tiger goalkeeper to only find the crossbar, giving the Duhawks their best chance of the game.
Going man-for-man in the back, the Tigers again were able to capitalize on the Duhawks back line with a break away, giving them a 2-0 lead with minutes remaining. DePauw handed the No. 6 Duhawks their first loss of the season putting the men at 4-1-1 overall.
“I think the guys are learning a lot from this loss,” commented Simon, “We can’t let big games get to our head. Like I mentioned before we have to get up for every game and not look past teams. Everyone understands that it’s nearly impossible to go undefeated for the season so it’s good that we got it out of the way and we can move on. A lot of things didn’t go our way that game and that’s just the way soccer is, but all of us are staying positive and moving on to the next game.”
The Duhawks are heading to Macomb, Ill. to go up against the Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks Monday evening.