Friday’s men’s soccer scrimmage against the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) left University of Dallas fans and players with high hopes for the coming season. The infamous UTD is known for having a strong men’s team who consistently compete at a high level, and Friday was no exception.
Senior forward Colton Allen saw the game as a way for the new players to work together and for the team to continue to improve.
“Going into the scrimmage we knew they were going to be a tough opponent, but we were looking forward to it as a way for the new players to learn to work together in the defense,” Allen said.
After a tough first half, both teams exited the field with zero goals. UTD dominated in offense, with over twice as many shots on goal, but Dallas’ strong defensive line and continuous saves held them off.
Junior keeper, Tino Gamueda, credited the opponents’ inability to score to the team’s ability to keep them from penetrating the middle of the field.
“We forced them to go outside and cross [the ball] into the middle, where junior Tommy Bryd and freshmen Eric Haigh and Bryan Mora were holding the back line and preventing the other team from scoring,” Gamueda said.
Bryd, Haigh and Mora, along with sophomore transfer Sean Taylor will be starting as the defensive line this season.
“The new defenders fit the formation Coach has us running really well,” Gamueda said. “This will allow us to transition from defense to attack much more efficiently.”
Along with the new defenders, key returners include sophomores Luke Schwarz, Jake Schnell and Trae Hampton, juniors Barton Holdridge, Ben Mannings and Gamueda and Allen.
Hampton, a sophomore midfielder, had a standout game Friday, forcing multiple turnovers and assisting the team’s only goal (by sophomore Naseem Said) in the second half. This was followed by a counter goal from UTD and the scrimmage ended in a tie, 1-1.
“It would have been nice to get the win, but considering we had some players limited due to injuries, it was a good result against a solid opponent,” Hampton stated.
Overall, the team views the scrimmage as a good stepping stone, and is looking forward to their first home game this Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 5 p.m. against Pacific Lutheran University.