By Kevin Key
After Friday’s game against Austin College was unexpectedly rained out, the University of Dallas men’s soccer team had to sit tight until Sunday to start their weekend off. Howard Payne University traveled to Irving on an incredibly pleasant autumnal day to upset UD. The game started strongly for the Crusaders, and the entire first half of the game looked very favorable for the team. They won six corners, a major part of their offensive strategy that utilizes speed outside to bring the ball into the box. However, they were unable to make anything of the chances they were given throughout the game. Going into halftime, UD had twice as many shots as Howard Payne and had almost complete offensive pressure. The rest of the game proved to be far harsher than the first 45 minutes, as the second half showed what looked to be two more evenly skilled sides.
Howard Payne caught up in shots and equaled UD in pressure for the rest of the match. At the end of the 90 minutes, both sides were scoreless. The game descended into scrappy play, typical of any game that remains goalless for such an extended period of time. In NCAA soccer, if both teams are still tied at the end of regulation time, the game goes into two 10-minute periods of overtime. The victor of golden goal overtime is the first team to score, regardless of the amount of time left on the clock. Howard Payne’s Shay Pate netted the golden goal in the sixth minute of overtime. This loss makes UD’s season record 4-1 and Howard Payne’s 1-4.
After such a disappointing loss for the Crusaders, head coach David Hoffman shared some acerbic observations with the team. After coming off a 4-0 run, Hoffman thought the play was too content and comfortable, as though the team was not particularly concerned with the game.
“There wasn’t enough intensity,” Hoffman said. “We need to bring the same intensity to any game no matter what.”
There is a fine balance between being too relaxed and too stressed about competition. This time UD did not bring enough to the table. The men’s soccer team plans to work harder this week and come back next weekend against Southwestern and Trinity Universities with more fire than it has shown yet in what looks to be a promising season.