Losing streak gets snapped

Men’s soccer uses home field advantage to defeat Emory, Carnegie Mellon up next


Hannah Finotti

Battling the cold, second-year midfielder Brian Woo looks upfield for a teammate.

Just as Halloween marks the end of October, and just as the season is coming to its end, the Case Western Reserve University Spartans snapped their four game losing streak this past week at home against Emory University.

In the past week, Case Western Reserve University hosted two teams on DiSanto Field. First up was the University of Rochester Yellowjackets.

The Spartans stepped onto the field with a three game losing streak. Stepping onto the other side of the midfield line was a University Athletic Association (UAA) rival with a far better record, and the mind games began.

In the crowd, people felt the intimidation almost as much as they felt the comfortable warm breeze. But the CWRU players showed no signs of fear.

The Spartans fought throughout the entire first half. For nearly 45 minutes, nothing got past fourth-year goalkeeper Calvin Boyle. Just before the end of the half, though, the Yellowjackets scored on a header, and went up 1-0.

During the second half, the Yellowjackets routinely found themselves inbounding with a corner kick. Time and time again, though, the Spartan defense held strong.

After more than 20 minutes passed in the half, the score was still frozen at 1-0. But then all hope was knocked out of CWRU as the Yellowjackets scored yet again, putting them up 2-0 with only 20 more minutes of play.

Neither side scored any goals during those last 20 minutes. In the end, the Spartans would take their fourth loss in a row and slide to a 5-9-2 record on the season.

The Emory University Eagles came out to Cleveland on a cold, rainy Sunday, Oct. 29—weather that is found much more often in Northeast Ohio than it is in Atlanta. The Spartans used their natural home field advantage, and it paid off.

About a third of the way through the first half, third-year midfielder Paul Darmstadter scored the first goal of the game by heading in a corner kick lob from first-year midfielder Connor Weber.

The Eagles weren’t ready to let the half be taken from them. Late in the half, the Eagles evened the game up at one goal a piece, keeping things knotted up into halftime.

Bitter cold wind and near-freezing rain made playing outside miserable, but the unwavering resolve of the Spartans remained. Ten minutes into the second half, the score was 2-1 in favor of CWRU after second-year forward Zachary Senft rebounded a shot in front of the goal and effortlessly tapped it in.

The losing streak felt like it was already over. But all those feelings vanished when the Eagles managed another goal on a laser kick from nearly 30 yards out. There were only 15 minutes left in regulation, and now it appeared as if the tides had turned.

After 90 minutes, the score was still 2-2. Overtime started, and for ten minutes both teams committed more fouls than they had shots. At the end of the first overtime, the score was still tied 2-2.

Now things were looking bleak. There were ten minutes more of play before the game ended in a draw, and the first overtime showed no signs of hope.

But three minutes into the second overtime, fourth-year forward Michael Balog headed in the game-winning goal off of another well-placed corner kick from Weber.

The Spartans now sit on a 6-9-2 record, with only one more match to go. The Carnegie Mellon University Tartans, CWRU’s biggest rival, come to DiSanto Field on Saturday, Nov. 4, to finish the season for both teams. Kickoff is at 5 p.m.