Men’s soccer back in the game
By Kevin Key
After an unfortunate five-game losing streak, the University of Dallas men’s soccer team was back in form just in time for Alumni & Family Weekend. It was not just a return to victory for the team; senior Nathan Nwaeze also returned to old habits this weekend. The forward singlehandedly secured the win for the team this past weekend. At the beginning of last year’s season, Nwaeze was the leading scorer for UD. This week, he demonstrated that ability again, and he picked the perfect time to perform so exceptionally.
UD’s game against Schreiner University on Friday, Oct. 3 was a turnaround point for the rest of the season and any chance of a postseason. After just four minutes of play, Nwaeze netted his first goal for the day and ignited the spark that had been missing from previous games. His passion was contagious; Nwaeze can be one of UD’s more audible players, and when he talks, the team listens. After an unfortunate handball and a penalty kick against UD early in the second half, it looked as though the fire had been put out. Nwaeze would have none of it. At just under 60 minutes of play, Nwaeze scored his second goal of the day, a goal that finished Schreiner. Although UD could not keep a clean sheet, they still came away with a refreshing win. This win proved to be a good stepping-off point for their game on Sunday and for the rest of the season.
The competition against Texas Lutheran University on Sunday, Oct. 5 proved to be much stiffer. Early in the first half, TLU came out roaring against the home side, who sported pink to support breast cancer awareness. After weathering the proverbial storm, UD settled into its style of play that has been so successful in the past. Although UD players seemed to have forgotten their ability to play and win in the past couple of weeks, this weekend was all about remembering what they really can do. This kind of play will produce results given enough time.
On Sunday, however, UD was quick to produce these results. Senior captain Matthew Wise found the Crusaders’ leading goal-scorer, Colton Allen, across the field with a Champions League-quality ball that Allen promptly put into the back of the goal with a left-footed blast. The second half was a test of the endurance and quality of UD’s back line. Desperation proved to be a good incentive for TLU, and their pressure increased the longer the game went. However, thanks to a goal line save from sophomore keeper Tino Gamueda late in the first half and aggressive play by fellow sophomore keeper P.J. Hasson, the final score was 1-0 after Allen’s first-half ripper. This was the Dallas boys’ first clean sheet in six games, and hopefully the first of many more.