Spartans soundly defeat Hiram Terriers

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courtesy Observer archives

Peter Cooke, Sports Editor

The Case Western Reserve University men’s soccer team started off their season with a pronounced thumping of Hiram College. Highlighted by goals from Jordan Fox and Vinny Bell, the Spartans opened their season at home with a 2-0 victory.

CWRU dominated the game for extended periods of play, opening their account with an early goal in the 15th minute. Sophomore midfielder Eric Erbwould sent a pass to Fox, who headed the ball into the back of the net. Hiram would push back, earning several corners. None of the set pieces would take shape though, as veteran goalkeeper Ben Yabrow recorded his first, of what looks to be many, clean sheets of the year. Yabrow ended the game with four saves.

The quick, aggressive pace of both sides slowed down as the half progressed, with both sides struggling to record shots on goal. The Spartans created a few good chances, but ultimately their shots soared far and wide, leaving CWRU with only a 1-0 lead at the half.

Seventh-year head coach Dan Palmer pushed the team at halftime and they regained their composure after the whistle. A quick series of passes nearly earned the Spartans their second goal of the game but shots, by Bell and midfielder Renee Silva were thwarted and cleared.

CWRU pressured Hiram goalie Joe Tatum and ultimately forced him to make untimely decisions. A few fast breaks by forward Bell kept Tatum on his toes before the Spartans sealed the game with a second goal.

CWRU sent the ball down the far flat to an unmarked Spartan who threatened to bring the ball in, but then crossed it instead. Tatum stepped out to cut off any angles, but was caught off-guard by the cross and tipped the ball to the center of the box where he was completely out of position. Bell lay waiting for the ball and easily swept it into the net, sealing the game and adding his first tally in what appears to be a promising campaign.

The second goal was followed by little action as time ticked down on the Spartans first win of the season. The Spartans take the field against Earlham College on Saturday at 2 p.m., hoping to keep their home record spotless.

Despite the win, CWRU only had three shots on target, with six more sailing high and wide. While Hiram was a challenging opponent, the Spartans will need to improve their shot accuracy in their upcoming three-game road trip as they travel to Ohio Northern University for a tournament next week.