Crusaders battle the Celts

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Nicholas Opsahl throws the ball in during a game versus Schreiner, photo courtesy of UD Athletics

On Friday, the University of Dallas men and women’s soccer teams faced St. Thomas University in Houston, Texas. The men’s team was able to outplay St. Thomas with a final score of 4-2. The women’s team fought hard, but ultimately lost with a final score of 0-3. 

The men’s team set the stage for a win in the first half and maintained momentum in the second half. 

“We played really well. Chima [Ogueri] scored our first goal early, then I assisted Hunter [Haugland] for our second goal. We went into halftime winning 2-0,” said junior midfielder Chase Reynolds. Ogueri and Haugland are both senior forwards for the UD Crusaders. 

UD took sixteen shots throughout the game. Haugland went on to score another goal for the Crusaders after halftime, again with Reynold’s assistance. Sophomore forward Carlo Scarmardo boosted UD to its final score of 4-2. Junior goalkeeper Caleb Strange also performed notably with a total of six saves, ensuring the Crusaders a win by the end of the night. 

Earlier in the season Coach Hoffmann laid out the strategy for his team. 

“The soccer season has been intentionally challenging,” said Hoffamnn. “We have played three matches against defending conference champions who all went to the National Tournament last year… It is a big ask for the guys, but we aren’t chasing wins against teams we know we can beat, we are chasing a bit of glory for the program and the university.” 

Hoffmann also explained the criteria to get in to the National Tournament. The selection criteria is mostly based on the season schedule and whether you play well against ranked opponents.

“It is counter-intuitive to some, but when you are looking at trying to compete on a national level we are better off going 2 wins and 4 losses against regionally ranked teams than going 5-1 or even undefeated against teams that are average,” said Hoffmann. 

The Lady Crusaders were hard pressed to keep the Celts at bay this weekend. UD defended well during the first half of the game, and at halftime St. Thomas had only made one point out of the eight shots they had taken. After halftime, the Celts took the lead with two more goals.

Throughout the game, the Lady Crusaders only took five shots while the Celts took fifteen. Senior goalkeeper Olivia Seversonmade made four saves, which kept UD competitive throughout the game. Additionally, freshman midfielder Gigi Garcia Orozcotook the only two shots that were on frame. 

Nine more games are left in the 2019 season for UD before the men and women’s conference tournament in November. Up next, the men’s and women’s teams play at Southwestern University on Oct. 4.

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