“They say if you stick around a sport long enough,you’re rarely surprised, but never a year goes by that you’re not surprised,” said University of Dallas men’s soccer Head Coach David Hoffmann in response to the unexpected end to the Crusader’s time in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Tournament at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.
Dallas had their SCAC Tournament bid cut short with a 5-1 loss to the Bulldogs of Texas Lutheran University (TLU).
UD entered the tournament as the number 5 seed in the conference and played fourth seeded TLU on Friday evening, a squad they had played twice in the past two weeks.
UD began the scoring in the third minute of the first half with a goal from sophomore forward Tomas DePetris. Senior defender Eric Haigh crossed the ball to DePetris who beat TLU goalkeeper Tanner Horelica on the right half of the goal.
“It felt good when Tomas got the first goal,” said Hoffmann. “I felt like we started strong.”
TLU then answered with four goals in ten minutes. The Bulldogs would score again in the 68th minute to bring the final score to 5-1. Five goals is the most that Dallas has allowed against any opponent this season.
“Their goals came from a different variety of attacks,” said Hoffmann. “The score looks big, but it’s kinda hard to stomach. I don’t recall a time seeing four goals against us in ten minutes. Those are statistics that don’t happen.”
Sophomore midfielder Hunter Haugland led the Crusaders in shots with four, and goalkeeper Sean Carlin managed three saves on eight shots on goal.
“The guys got their heads down and they played well and they played hard,” said Hoffmann.
“We were as professional as amateurs can be. I think they really represented themselves and the school well.”
TLU would go on to lose 2-1 in the semifinals against the eventual conference champion Trinity University.
“The schedule was far from kind to us,” said Hoffmann. “We played five games against (NCAA) tournament teams and seven games against nationally ranked teams.”
Nationally, UD had the 33rd ranked schedule in terms of total difficulty.
As the season closes for men’s soccer, coach Hoffmann and the team have already started looking on to 2019.
“There is [the] passing of the season and the passing of the team, there is that season where some guys will just decompress,” said Hoffmann. “I think some players will go out and self-train and use [this season] as fuel for the fire.”
Hoffman will enter his 17th season with UD in 2019, and is currently the longest tenured coach on the athletic staff.
“I am very married to this region and the roots are pretty deep here,” said Hoffmann
Coach Hoffmann remains proud of not only this season’s squad, but the program as a whole.
“I have always considered myself a steward of the team,” said Hoffmann. “This is the university’s team, it’s the alumni’s team, it’s the player’s team.”
Dallas ends their season with an 8-8 overall record, and a 7-6 record against SCAC opponents.