Men’s soccer splits games to open season

To the start the season, fourth-year forward Alex Besl showed the Marietta College Pioneers who the real pioneers of turning song lyrics to life are. With his last shot, he “turned the 0-2 to the 0-3” to seal the game.

On Aug. 31, the Case Western Reserve University men’s soccer team took on Marietta College at home and won 3-0 to start their season. However, the team then lost 1-0 in a tight game against the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio on Sept. 2.

The Spartans relentlessly pushed the ball to start their season opener, attempting three shots in the first six minutes. Eventually, one of the shots found the net, as a corner from second-year midfielder Connor Weber and three headers to keep the ball away from the defense set up an opening for second-year forward Maximillian Klemm to drill in his shot to the left corner for the Spartans’ first goal of the season.

“We changed practice to play more aggressive, so our mindset translated [into the game] and we came off the right foot…we were the aggressor,” said third-year midfielder Brian Woo.

The team then used the momentum from the first goal to further break Marietta’s defense. A cross from Besl to second-year forward Seldon Magruder led the opposing goalie to come up for the tackle, and third-year midfielder Garrett Winter shot the ball off the deflection past the goalkeeper. Back-to-back goals within a minute deflated the Pioneers’ confidence.

Marietta picked up the pace in the second half, but the Spartan defense and offense was too much for the Pioneers. Like the first half of the game, the ball was played mainly on CWRU’s side of the field for most of the second half. The Pioneers took some desperate long shots, but none of the shots or corners connected. First-year goalie Charlie Fink had three saves and earned his first shutout in his debut.

To put the icing on the cake, Besl took advantage of the Marietta’s careless play by intercepting a kick from the Pioneers goalkeeper. Beating out the opposing defender with his speed, Besl took possession and swiftly shot it into the goal while the opposing goalie was taken aback from his kick. Besl’s energy demonstrated that the Spartans’ motor does not let up even in the last twenty minutes of the game when the team is up by 2 points.  

In the game against Mount Union, both teams exchanged shots to start the game.

At the 37 minute mark, the Spartans committed a foul in the box, allowing Mount Union to score the only goal of the game off of a penalty kick.

The Spartans tried to mount a comeback in the second half by taking seven shots, but Mount Union managed to finish the game with a clean sheet. The Spartan defense was solid, allowing only 3 shots in the game with Fink saving one.

“We’re still working on managing small moments so we could execute [our] chances,” commented Woo.

The Spartans will play their next game at the Disanto Field against Geneva College on Sept. 7 then head to Oberlin, Ohio for a game against Oberlin College the following day.