Old victors lend to new season’s determination and fight
By Kevin Key
The teams in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) are very well balanced this season, but this past weekend was the toughest yet for the University of Dallas men’s soccer team. UD faced last year’s top two teams in the conference on Friday and Sunday. After an encouraging week of practice, the team was looking forward to the competition. Southwestern University, the No.2-ranked team in the conference during the 2013 season, faced off against the Crusaders on Friday with the sun shining and a large crowd gathered at Crusader Field to watch the competition.
The Crusaders completely dominated the first half and were appropriately confident going into the next 45 minutes. Unfortunately, they were not able to capitalize on any of their opportunities to score, and the game began to even out. Southwestern finally broke the dry spell and netted a goal in the 55th minute. The rest of the game was full of more good plays by both sides; however, UD still was unable to finish. This brought the team’s record to 4-2.
UD ended the weekend with a record of 4-3 after losing to Trinity University on Sunday. Trinity was a tough team to beat, as it was the No.1-ranked team in the SCAC in 2013. The Crusaders came out of the gate roaring with the excellent play and high intensity that was lacking in the previous week’s matches. Junior Colton Allen was an excellent example of the intensity that the team wanted to bring to the game throughout the match against Trinity, and he exemplified this in the game against Southwestern as well. UD finally broke its two-game scoreless streak when Allen blasted a goal past Trinity from outside the 18-yard box in the ninth minute. However, the men’s luck ran out there.
The play was tight for the rest of the game, especially the second half, but the Trinity players asserted themselves with three goals in the first half alone. The fourth goal came just after an hour of play when Trinity’s Johnny Lawson got the team’s fourth goal of the game on a penalty kick. Regardless of the outcomes, senior and captain Matt Wise was still positive after the losses.
“While the results this weekend were certainly disappointing, I think we played our best soccer since coming together a month ago,” Wise said. “The highlight of the weekend would have to be Colton Allen’s performance. In my opinion, he was the best player on the field on Friday and scored an incredible goal on Sunday.”
The men’s soccer team plays next at Centenary College of Louisiana on Friday, Sept. 26.