Dallas mens soccer travels to Oregon as part of senior tradition
Kevin Key, Contributing Writer
After opening weekend wins over Concordia University (1-0) and Southwestern College KS (3-0), the University of Dallas men’s soccer team traveled to Portland Oregon, senior Matthew Wise’s hometown. UD played Linfield College Saturday, Sept. 6 and Pacific University on Sunday, Sept. 7.
The Crusaders started slowly against Linfield, perhaps due to jet lag from their trip the day before. The game remained scoreless until head coach David Hoffman drew from his deep bench, allowing sophomore Ben Mannings to put the Crusaders ahead in the 31st minute. This gave Mannings his second goal for the season and put UD on the board first against Linfield. UD was able to keep a handle on the rest of the game despite some scrappy play, including one red card and four yellow cards collected between both sides.
The second goal came from a misplay by Linfield’s keeper, and junior Colton Allen was able to pass the ball into an empty net. Allen scored once in each of UD’s first three games and was named the SCAC offensive player of the week. He has been integral to all of UD’s attacks so far and is looking forward to the new season. UD held the two-goal lead for the rest of the game with the help of the entire bench, which provided a refreshing depth that the team lacked sorely last year.
A strong bench was especially important with the absence of starter sophomore Barton Holdridge, who broke his wrist against Concordia on Sunday, Aug. 31. Holdridge’s speed fits perfectly into Coach Hoffman’s style of play, and although he will be missed for the next few weeks, the team should fare well enough with fellow sophomores Stephen Gahan and Mannings to fill in. The Crusaders’ defense has also put on a show behind the scenes by giving the keepers easy games and clean sheets.
Sunday’s game against Pacific was more of the same for UD, despite being the team’s hardest game yet. The game became quite heated and passionate as it neared its end and both teams remained scoreless. However, Mannings pulled through for the team after a quick run and a goal, fed by freshman Luke Schwarz, against the Pacific keeper with 1:04 on the clock. Mannings and Allen are now tied as the team’s leading scorers with three goals apiece over the first four games. The men’s soccer team has a four-game winning streak to start the season. To make these victories even sweeter, all four were shutouts.