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The Observer

Men’s soccer struggles in conference play

J.P. O'Hagan

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The Case Western men’s soccer team rebounded from a harsh loss at Washington University in St. Louis with a strong win in the windy city of Chicago. The team advances to 6-4-4 and remains confident that they can finish the season strong. “If we play to our level, we can win any game,” head coach Brandon Bianco said.

The Spartans started last week with a rough loss to Washington University in St. Louis, dropping the match 4-1. While Chris Cvecko scored his sixth goal of the season, it wasn’t enough. Just seven minutes into the match, the Bears found the back of the net off a well-placed assist. They added to their lead in the 23rd minute. However, Cvecko scored about a minute later to cut the Washington lead to one. The Bears commanded the second half scoring twice to handily give the Spartans their second loss of the conference play. Ari Lewis returned to start between the posts and finished with three saves. “We played well despite the result,” said Bianco.

The team bounced back from the defeat by handily beating the University of Chicago 4-0 just two days later. The Spartans dominated the first half and started the scoring with Cvecko assisting Matthew Zembas, who was able to chip the ball over the Chicago keeper and into the net. Twin goals less than two minutes apart later in the half by Logan Glosser and Taylor Fletcher put Case up by three.

Five minutes into the second half, Zembas put the last nail in Chicago’s coffin scoring his second goal of the match and sixth of the season on Cvecko’s second assist. The Case defense remained steadfast following Zembas’ second goal to close out the game, a splendid win for the Spartans. Frank Candau faced just three shots between the posts to earn the shutout. Bianco commended his players saying, “Chris Cvecko has lead the team, Matthew Zembas is coming into his own and Ryan Meyer has solidified the backfield, but the whole team has played really well.”

The Spartans returned home to a nearly two-week break. With no games scheduled, the Spartans have found ways to stay competitive and avoid becoming stagnated. One of these ways was to hold an Alumni game. A few former players came in to keep the team in a competitive spirit this past weekend and the team answered in the short hour-long game winning 6-0. The game was a part of keeping the team committed to excellent play for the rest of the season. “We are focusing on us,” Bianco said.

Hoping to carry the momentum of the big win into the remainder of the season the Spartans will start that crusade Friday night against Carnegie Mellon here at home. After Carnegie Mellon Case will finish the season playing Emory and then Rochester. “All three are big,” said Bianco, “They all provide a challenge.”

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Men’s soccer struggles in conference play