So close

Men’s soccer narrowly misses two wins, ends up with loss and tie

JP. O’Hagan

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The Case Western Reserve soccer team was mere minutes from subduing the fourth best team in the nation last Saturday.

The Spartans battled the Brandeis Judges in the kickoff of the University Athletic Association conference play of the year for two halves and two minutes short of two full extra times before falling in the heartbreaker. A penalty kick with less than two minutes left in the second overtime of the day gave the nationally ranked Judges a 1-0 win last Sunday.

With the win, the Judges remain perfect on the year at 10-0 and retain their stellar standing.

In a game where the offense was obviously lacking, the defense on both sides of the pitch was incredible. Freshman goalkeeper Calvin Boyle put together perhaps his greatest outing so far this season despite the loss, as he kept a career high seven shots from sailing between the posts. The Spartan defense held back the brunt of the high-powered Brandeis attack, though the nationally ranked squad managed to rattle off 20 shots on the night, nine of which were on target, compared to the finesse of the Spartans who had nine shots with five on goal.

However, it is was the last shot that mattered—a lose-lose situation for the Spartans when a penalty set up the Judges for a penalty kick at the 108-minute mark, to capture the win for the Judges.

The Spartans followed up the effort with a 2-2 draw against crosstown rival Oberlin College on Wednesday night. The Spartans now stand at 6-4-2 on the season.

In the match against Oberlin, the Spartans and the Yeomen battled for another double overtime thriller. However while the game against Brandeis was a goal drought, the Wednesday night match was a high stakes shootout, ending in a 2-2 tie.

The two teams combined for 55 shot attempts with Oberlin, edging out the Spartans 30-25 in shots. Junior Chris Cvecko and sophomore Joshua Prosser both scored in the second half. Cvecko scored in the 69th minute off a penalty kick to start the scoring. Prosser’s goal retook the lead after the Yeomen scored, but Oberlin clawed back before regulation ended.

Boyle again anchored the defense, blowing his saves record from the Brandeis game away, saving 18 shots Wednesday night. The two teams traded runs in the two overtimes but neither were able to scratch out a win.

The Spartans will return to action Saturday in their second UAA game of the season as they take on New York University at home. The match is the opening game of a soccer doubleheader at DiSanto Field with the women’s squad also taking on New York in the second match. The games will start the homecoming celebration and a tailgate will take place in between matches. The men will kick off at 11 a.m.