The University of Dallas men’s soccer team looks to play their first match against a conference team on Sept. 11 at Colorado College.
Starting the season with two scrimmages, the team showed potential for a great season with a key returning lineup and strong new players. Changing their formation from last year, the team utilized the scrimmages to set a strong defensive line that could transition quickly and effectively from defense to offense. These changes were put to the test over the last week, when Dallas played three pre-season matches.
Dallas opened their first home match against Pacific Lutheran University, falling 2-1 after the opponent got off two goals in the first half of the game. Working hard to speed up their pace, Dallas responded early in the second half with a goal by senior Colton Allen. Unfortunately, a two-goal deficit was too great to come back from, and Dallas left the field with a loss.
Learning from their mistakes, Dallas proved themselves in their following match against Whitman College on Sept. 3, winning 2-1. Juniors Ben Mannings and Barton Holdridge each had a goal, with Holdridge scoring early at just the 1:42 minute mark. With both goals scored in the first half of the game, Dallas established a sense of urgency that left Whitman struggling to keep up. The opponent’s only goal was a penalty kick in the last 20 seconds of the game.
At their first away game of the season, Concordia University proved too much for Dallas, leaving the boys with a 4-2 loss. A slow start for Dallas allowed Concordia to get three goals in before the half, one of them being a penalty kick. The second half was a better showing from the Crusaders, with Holdridge scoring two goals; the second of which was assisted by freshman Eric Haigh. However, the deficit from the first half along with one more goal from the opposition in the last 20 minutes was too much for Dallas to rebound from.
UD men’s soccer has two more opportunities to work out the kinks and demonstrate their abilities this weekend on Sept. 11 and 12. They play their first conference match against Colorado College on Friday, preceding Wartburg College on Saturday.