Men’s soccer recovers from week 1 struggles, go undefeated at home


Courtesy of CWRU Athletics

Kicking off the new season, the CWRU men’s soccer team secure a 3-1 victory against a previously undefeated Bethany College.

Ajeet Kalepu, Staff Writer

Last year, Case Western Reserve University’s men’s soccer team completed the fall 2021 season with a 6-8-2 record, persevering through a demanding schedule. The Spartans then finished the NCAA DIII Championship Tournament with a record of 0-6-2. Now, with a new group of first-year students joining the squad, CWRU looks to surpass their feats from the previous year. 

The Spartans kicked off the fall 2022 season with back-to-back road games. On Sept. 2, CWRU traveled to Delaware, Ohio and tied with the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops 1-1. Fourth-year midfielder Matt Vatne scored a 29th minute goal assisted by third-year midfielder Jacob Salmon. On Sept. 3, second-year midfielder Lucas Dalakis, fourth-year midfielder Matt Vatne and fourth-year midfielder Sean Atwater’s goals were not enough to surpass Capital University, as the Spartans fell 4-3, bringing their record to 0-1-1.

Coach Carter Poe praised the Spartans’ efforts against Ohio Wesleyan University, as they battled through numerous injuries and a COVID-related absence. Despite these struggles going into the match versus Capital, Poe commented, “At the end of the day though, I think there are no excuses going up [two] to nothing in a game, you need to win… But we are hoping to bounce back this week.”

Following a winless start to their season, CWRU made a huge turnaround, going 2-0 in their homestand. Last Wednesday, the Spartans battled the previously undefeated Bethany College at DiSanto Field to a convincing 3-1 victory.
Vatne started the action in the 15th minute with brilliant dribbling inside the box and a cross to fourth-year midfielder Adrian Harkness to assist his first goal of the season, putting the Spartans up 1-0. Bethany quickly answered back in the 20th minute with a header off a corner kick to tie the game up.

Vatne assisted yet another teammate, this time off of a corner kick to graduate student defender Alexandru Rumleanschi for his first goal of the season. In the second half, Harkness nearly extended the lead to 3-1, but Bethany’s keeper deflected his shot right to third-year midfielder Jacob Salmon, who then sent it into the back of the net. 

With this win, CWRU improved its record to 1-1-1. The Spartans were aggressive throughout the match with 16 shots, 9 of which were on target. The defense limited Bethany to just 6 shots with 3 on target. 

Following an impressive performance against Bethany College, CWRU hosted the No. 24 ranked Otterbein University to give yet another undefeated team their first loss of the season.

The first half of the match went in favor of the Cardinals, as Otterbein’s Will Isaac scored a 16th minute goal off a free kick. However, the second half was a different story. 

In the 59th minute, first-year midfielder Camden Larson smashed a longshot from outside the box right into the keeper’s hands, but third-year defender Jad Oglesby caught the deflection to tie the game up 1-1. CWRU surpassed Otterbein 2-1 in the 71st minute when Salmon crossed the ball to Atwater, allowing him to net his first career goal. 

The Spartan defense prevented Otterbein from converting in the last 20 minutes of regulation, causing the Spartans to pick up their second straight win to improve to 2-1-1. CWRU’s defensive prowess limited the Cardinals to just three shots compared to the Spartans’ 12 shot attempts with 9 on target.


The Spartans will conclude the month of September with a three-game road trip, taking on Allegheny College on Sept. 17, Defiance University on Sept. 20 and Kenyon College on Sept. 24.