The University of Dallas men’s soccer team has had a very successful start to their season. Their first win, following a preseason scrimmage against University of Texas at Dallas, was over Howard Payne University (HPU). Goals from senior forward Barton Holdridge, junior midfielders Luke Schwarz and Trae Hampton, sophomore midfielder Andrew Ciancone, and freshman forward Hunter Haunglad resulted in a 5-1 victory for the Crusaders.
Afterward, senior goalkeeper Tino Gamueda focused not only on the win, but also on what the team needs to improve upon in order to keep winning.
“Well, we got our first win with a solid goal differential, but you know we wish we could [be] perfect with a shutout,” Gamueda said. “So there will be a lot of work on defending this week. But once we correct all of that we should be golden to attack anything that is put against us for the test.”
With the loss of previous all-star forward Colton Allen, who graduated last year, the team has had some questions about how they will handle themselves going forward.
“We lost a top player in the form of Colton Allen,” Head Coach David Hoffman said. “One of the most intriguing things about this is how we will adjust to losing that match winner. I expect the team to have more offensive balance, but it is a great challenge to take a two-time All-Region player from the line-up. You never know how the team will adjust to unlocking an opposition defense when you remove a player like that.”
Senior midfielder Ben Mannings, however, is very positive about the way the team is playing, and about their future in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC).
“I’m super pumped that we have won all our games so far and that we are now 3-0, only conceding two goals and scoring 13,” Mannings said. “I’m very proud of our team, especially of the freshmen who have come in and really added to the team. I can’t wait to start the first conference game up in Colorado and stamp our authority on the conference.”
“We started off strong with Barton Holdridge scoring early on,” sophomore defender Joseph Wiele added. “It was our first time playing together as a team, [and] I thought we seemed pretty solid and worked well with each other. I have very high expectations for this team going into the season. I think we will go far if we keep scoring like we have been in these last few games.”
After defeating HPU, the Crusaders added to their winning record with victories over Hendrix College (4-0) and Rhodes College (4-1).
This Friday, Sep. 9, UD’s men’s soccer team is on the road again, playing Colorado College in their first conference game.