The Case Western Reserve University men’s soccer team was under pressure this weekend, dropping their first away game against Capitol University 0-1 in overtime, but bounced back at home against the College of Wooster with a 2-1 overtime victory. This set a positive record of 2-1-1.
In the game against Capital, both teams started slow, with defenses blocking shots, forcing shots wide and fighting for possession of the ball. Capitol was close to scoring off the corner at the 33rd minute, but the Spartans were able to fend off the attack and regain possession. A shot was then traded by third-year Seldon McGruder. Tensions rose in the second-half when both Magruder and opposing player Brian Woo received yellow cards after Magruder stopped the breakaway forward from scoring following a missed shot by forward Zachary Senft. A minute into overtime, a cross caught Spartan second-year goalie Charlie Fink off-guard and found its way to the net. Fink finished the game with five saves, while the Capitols led in shots, 15-8 to the Spartans.
With three games in overtime under their belt, the Spartans looked to turn the tides against Wooster. Wooster laid fire first, taking a header then setting up a corner. At the six-minute mark, Fink managed to save a shot but another opposing player shot on the recovery to the lower right corner of the goal. After being scored on, Case, being fired up, took three shots in the next minute but was blocked or was too wide. Eventually, at the 21st-minute mark, third-year Connor Weber’s corner found third-year defender Nathan Ekberg, who connected the pass to first-year Rafael Perez for the goal. Perez collided hard with the opposing goalie but was ultimately fine and kept playing after his second goal of the season. Both teams tried to get on top, with Fink closing the half with two solid saves. The Spartans dominated possession of the ball in the second-half but converted none of the shots. Wooster came close with a corner but barely missed the goal.
Not satisfied without a victory, the Spartans fired all engines during crunch time, with Senft taking two shots but both were saved by the opposing goalie. During the fourth minute of overtime, a cross from Magruder chipped off the defender into first-year Matt Vatne. He took the open opportunity to chip in a curved shot at the left side of the ten-yard line. Filled with glee, Vatne grabbed the shoulder of fourth-year forward Garret Winter and fell down, as his teammates pounced in to celebrate.
The Spartans’ next match will be against Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.