The University of Dallas men’s soccer team traveled up to Colorado Springs this past weekend for their conference opener against Colorado College.
90 minutes into the game, the Crusaders found themselves in a position that has become quite familiar to them this season; for the third game in a row, they were going to overtime. Unlike the first two games of the season, this game ended in a draw, as neither side was able to score in the overtime period that was played. There was no second overtime period, as the game had to be called short due to darkness that came as a result of a two hour lightning delay.
Freshman forward Nat Kajiwara, who scored two goals in the season opener vs. George Fox, came out aggressive again, leading the team in shot attempts with five. However, it was the Tigers of Colorado College who held a 19-10 shot advantage throughout the game. Freshman midfielder Chase Reynolds was second in shot attempts for the Crusaders with two.
Things got heated late in the game as each team was handed a yellow card in the final ten minutes of regulation. Dallas’s Sean Taylor and Colorado’s Tim Huettel were the recipients of the yellow cards.
Reynolds and junior midfielder Andrew Ciancone had the two attempts in overtime for the Crusaders. Unfortunately, neither were able to convert. It was, however, a big day for freshman goalkeeper Sean Carlin who earned his first career shutout. Carlin finished the day with five saves.
While it was a frustrating day on the offensive side of the ball, senior midfielder Joseph Quiray saw growth from the team on the defensive side of the ball.
“I think our team chemistry has grown a lot since the season started,” said Quiray. “It allows us to stay organized on defense which is why we kept them from scoring.”
Senior midfielder Luke Schwarz also praised the team’s strong defensive performance.
“We defended well, and that was our main focus playing away from home.”
On the lack of scoring, he added, “We are set up to hit on the counter. We created a few chances but just couldn’t finish any on the day.”
While the Crusaders were not able to leave Colorado with the win, they were able to display a great defensive effort on the road in their conference opener. Also, as in the first two games, several freshmen had strong performances. These young players will only continue to improve and aid the more experienced players as the team continues conference play.
Next up for the Crusaders is a two game road trip on which they will face conference foes Trinity and Schreiner.