The Case Western Reserve University men’s soccer team dropped to a 4-3-1 record after losing 4-1 to the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears on Saturday, Sept. 20.
The Spartans dropped their second straight game after rattling off four straight wins. Both losses have come on the road and the Spartans will be relieved to return to the friendly turf of DiSanto Field.
The Polar Bears, proved that they deserve their No. 24 nationally ranked position and started the game off hot, finding the back of the net in the fourth and eighth minutes to jump to an early 2-0 lead over the Spartans. The rest of the half was subdued as the Spartans regained their footing and held back the Polar Bear’s offensive onslaught but were unable to find a great scoring chance in the half.
The Spartans broke through shortly into the second half. Junior center Chris Cvecko put the Spartans on the board with a goal in the 54th minute, an unassisted shot that beat the keeper off a free kick. The goal was his third of the season, tying him with fellow junior Matthew Zembas for the second-most goals on the team this season.
The Spartans seemed to relax after getting on the board and the Polar Bears made them pay. Ohio Northern responded quickly with two more goals: Matt Kinkopf scored for the Polar Bears in the 55th minute then found the back of the net again one minute later, beating the keeper on both runs into the box.
Defensively the Spartans held strong for most of the game but the Polar Bears capitalized on mistakes, leading to the rough 4-1 loss. Freshman keeper Calvin Boyle played the entire game, making three saves and dropping to 3-2 on the season.
Case outshot Ohio Northern 17-10, but the Spartans were unable to capitalize on their numerous opportunities. They still have time to iron out their mistakes, however; UAA conference play does not start until Sunday, Oct. 5. The UAA will prove difficult for the Spartans as the UAA is amongst the strongest soccer conferences in the country.
The Spartans will be back in action at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27 when they face the Wilmington College Quakers at DiSanto Field.