The Crusaders went on the road this past weekend, hoping to keep a hold on their second place position in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) standings.
They first traveled to meet Centenary College in Louisiana for their second matchup of the season.
UD was aggressive from the start, creating many chances on offense. However, they were not able to find the back of the net in the first half. Luckily, the aggressive mentality of the Crusaders paid off in the second half.
On a free kick just three minutes after halftime, junior defender Eric Haigh found freshman midfielder Nate Riddle who headed in his first goal of the season. Although the Crusaders outshot Centenary 25-11, this was the only attempt that resulted in a score.
Fortunately for the Crusaders it didn’t matter, as that was all that they would need to pull off the victory.
UD’s stout defensive unit was able to keep Centenary from scoring, and freshman goalkeeper Sean Carlin earned his fourth shutout of the season. Forwards Nat Kajiwara and Hunter Haugland were both very active with six shots apiece.
On Sunday, the Crusaders faced off against the Austin College Kangaroos and again came out firing.
Haugland started off the scoring for UD, netting a goal six minutes into the match. The assist came on a throw in by Haigh.
About 15 minutes later, Kajiwara scored on an assist from freshman midfielder Chase Reynolds. Going into the half with a 2-0 advantage, the Crusaders were not about to let up.
In the 51st minute, Kajiwara scored his second goal of the match. This one came on a rebound from a free kick taken by fellow freshman Tomas DePetris. This goal was his eighth of the season, which leads the team.
About ten minutes later, Kajiwara found Haugland for the fourth and final goal of the match. Carlin had another shutout and made four saves throughout the game.
Senior midfielder Luke Schwarz credited the win to good chemistry on the attack.
“Our outside mids and forwards did a good job linking up with each other, and then they took their chances well when they came,” Schwarz said.
Senior midfielder A.J. Zaugg also lauded this connection, as well as giving the defense credit.
“We had a good combination up top and finished our chances well,” Zaugg said. “We had a good overall defensive effort in spite of the strong wind.”
The Crusaders held onto their second place position in the SCAC standings, trailing only Trinity University. This was their 8th conference win of the season, the most they’ve had since joining the SCAC. Next up is a nonconference matchup with Southwestern Adventist University at Crusader Field.