After the conclusion of an extremely long and eventful road trip in which the Crusaders defeated Hendrix College (2-1) in Arkansas and fell (3-1) to Colorado College, the University of Dallas boys earned both their first home win of the season and their conference, as well as their first home game winning streak and shutout this past weekend.
With back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday, Dallas’ first match was against Dallas Christian, a local college that the Crusaders had previously defeated last year. UD’s match against Dallas Christian last season warned them of the dangers of overconfidence. The Crusader’s opened this match with confident yet cautious play. As they moved forward in the match, it was evident that Dallas Christian had lost some of their power players. The Crusaders simply overwhelmed Dallas Christian, landing two early goals in the sixth and seventh minutes of the match. Dallas Christian then pushed forward with a jolt of energy towards UD’s goal, but all attempts were blocked and neutralized, and after a 10-minute charge on the side of Dallas Christian, UD regained composure and pressed onward yet again.
Reorganized and ready to begin asecond assault, UD pushed forward, slashing through the Dallas Christian midfield, landing three more goals in the 19th, 32nd and 43rd minute of the first half. The Dallas boys walked off their first half triumphant and eager to put the match away with a 5-0 lead at halftime.
Dallas came back on the pitch with the lineup that ended the first half. Within minutes the sixth goal was scored, followed by the additional and final three goals of the match within 15 minutes of each other. As the second half clock ticked down, Dallas’ reserves got a chance to charge the field and experience a full-speed match. They continued to supply the effort and skill needed to penetrate Dallas Christian’s defense and keep a clean sheet for the Crusaders. Goals were scored in the match by Alex Lebl, Preston Waltrip, Michael Chapman, Garrett Johnson, Michael O’Donnell, Mikhail Castillo, and Joey Mullen.
Dallas’ second match of the weekend took place Saturday against longtime rival Austin College. Last season the Dallas boys lost to Austin College after getting scored on in the last few seconds of regulation before losing 1-0 in overtime. This match did not have the same outcome. The Crusaders opened with an early and amazing free kick from co-captain midfielder Chapman, and ended with an unbelievable strike from freshman Matthew Wise to win the match 2-0. Statistically both teams were neck and neck. Austin College generated multiple chances through long balls to their solo forward who flicked the ball wide to their outside midfielders, while Dallas chose the possession route and penetrated the wings and the midfield to fire at Austin College’s net. Austin College had 12 more total shots than Dallas; however, the defensive pressure placed on the Austin Roos forced their shots wide or completely off target.
The first goal of the match came on a beautiful free kick by Chapman which bent into the upper corner of the net. The free kick was drawn nine minutes into the match after Dallas possessed the ball and pressed the Roos’ defense. The ball was switched to the left flank of the field in which senior co-captain Waltrip split two Roo defenders and was fouled right outside of the box. The second goal was initiated when the ball was played wide to Nathan Nwaeze who ran with it down the flank. He then passed it inside to Wise, who turned the defender, sprinted across the top of the box, and shot a perfect ball to the top right corner of the net. The crowd roared with excitement, and Dallas took home their second win of the weekend and sent their long-time rivals back home with a loss.