Yesterday, the University of Dallas men’s soccer team won their first ever Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) tournament game, beating Southwestern University 4-1. Today they played for their first ever SCAC championship, but fell to top-seeded Trinity 4-0.
UD had the first couple opportunities, with two throw ins in the first few minutes, but were unable to convert. After that, Trinity started to put some pressure on, getting a golden opportunity of their own in the 17th minute when midfielder Christian Sakshaug was tripped up in the goal box, earning a penalty kick for the Tigers.
Dallas goalkeeper Sean Carlin guessed right but Sakshaug shot it left and gave Trinity a 1-0 lead.
Trinity continued to press on, and a few minutes later got another opportunity. Defender Kellen Reid cleared the ball and Carlin went out to play it. Carlin misplayed the ball, however, and midfielder Jacob Hallenberger netted the goal in the 22nd minute to extend Trinity’s lead to 2-0.
The Crusaders looked tired for much of the rest of the half, but were able to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard.
UD continued to play hard despite the two-goal deficit in the second half. They had some chances, but continually mistimed their lead passes and missed the net a couple of times as well.
Trinity forced the issue, and in the 76th minute, forward Austin Michaelis netted a third goal to put the game away.
Finally, midfielder Quentin Van Der Lee iced the game in the 81st minute, scoring to reach the final 4-0.
The Crusaders had their opportunities throughout the game, but seemed to be a step slow and missed the net a few times.
It was an offensive game for both teams as Trinity outshot the Crusaders 23-17.
After the game, the team received a long ovation from perhaps their biggest crowd of the season.
“This has been our best season since being in the SCAC, and it clearly showed,” senior captain Luke Schwarz said.
It was the first time the Crusaders played for the SCAC championship in men’s soccer, and would have been the first SCAC championship in a team sport for any of the athletic programs.
This was the last game for Dallas’s six seniors, including Schwarz. While it hurts now, the Crusaders have nothing to hang their heads about after arguably the best season in school history.
“I enjoyed every minute of this season, as well as my first three years,” Schwarz said. “I loved being a part of this team and playing with the guys, and that’s the one thing I will miss the most.”
The Crusaders have a bright future with a lot of key young players returning next season. The team can expect to compete for championships again in the near future.