Men’s soccer prevails despite card-happy refs

Jessie Koster, Contributing Writer

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Because of the two questionable yellow cards that were given to Schwarz during Saturday's game, the Crusaders will have to face Trinity without their sophomore captain. University of Dallas photo.

The subjectivity of game officials is a barrier that all sports teams must overcome on a game-to-game basis. Great teams, however, work to find ways past the questionable calls and toward victory. That is just what the University of Dallas Men’s Soccer team did this weekend, beating Centenary College 1-0 and Austin College 2-1. Friday’s match began with a scoreless first half, thanks to a few critical stops by Dallas’ defense. One instance was a free kick given to Centenary at the top of the box, which the defense managed to clear. This was just one of the 11 fouls and three yellow cards against Centenary during the game. The second half had Dallas on the offensive, waiting to capitalize on one of their 15 shots. Their opportunity came in the 85th minute, with senior forward Colton Allen’s game-winning finish off of a cross from the right side of the field. “The win was extremely important for our team’s confidence going into the second half of the season where we need to keep our momentum going,” Allen commented. Dallas worked through an extremely physical game, in which a total of four yellow cards and 19 fouls kept the game intense. Most players would argue that there was a lack of calls on dangerous tackles, and that a good number of the calls the officials did make were unnecessary. Either way, the Crusaders pushed through and overcame their frustrations with the officials to get the 1-0 shutout against Centenary. Sunday’s game against Austin College followed suit, with what many players referred to as “card-happy” officials. The game started out with an early advantage for Austin, with a one-on-one goal against Dallas at the 10:47 mark. In the following minutes, junior forward/winger Barton Holdridge countered with a goal of his own, a header inside the box, off of a fantastic cross from sophomore midfielder Luke Schwarz. A total of 10 fouls were called on the teams, ending the first half with a tense tie. The second half was a back-and-forth penalty game. With another 19 fouls called between the teams and three yellow cards on Dallas alone, the players seemed to be battling the officials more than each other. Holdridge’s second and game-winning goal in the 65th minute turned the remaining time into both a physical and mental battle. As Dallas worked to hold off Austin, they were faced with three yellow cards, two in the final seconds of the game. Schwarz was given two yellow cards on a questionable call, combining to form a red that will put him out of a crucial game against Trinity University next week. “[The referee] seemed to have it out for me since he gave me two yellow cards within 40 seconds, and he wouldn’t give me a reason,” Schwarz said. “He talked to Austin’s number 10 several times without penalties, and then gave me two yellow cards on my first offense.” “The two cards that Luke got were uncalled for,” Holdridge said. “He didn’t deserve either one … the fact that with a red he will have to sit out against Trinity … will hurt us.” Dallas, however, managed to keep Austin College from capitalizing on a penalty kick outside the box in the last 10 seconds, and finished the game 2-1. Two physically and mentally challenging games this weekend ended in wins for the Crusaders, proving that not even the officials are enough to stop this team’s successful momentum. The Crusaders look to continue their winning streak at Trinity on Oct. 9.

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