“Heading” into the Season
The Buc’s soccer season started off fast and furious as both the Men’s and Women’s soccer teams played two games within two days to kick off the year. Southwestern athletes had been on campus for about three weeks preparing for their first league game.
The action started Friday night with the Men’s team having their first kickoff at 8 PM, their rivals–Mary Hardin and Baylor in purple. Both teams showed up to play as it was quickly revealed that they were very evenly matched. Both defenses seemed to shut down each offensive play launched by the forwards and midfielders.
Things quickly got heated on the other side of the field closest to the benches, many fouls on the Pirates Midfielder #14 Ashton Bynum, seemed to go unnoticed by the ref in blue, leaving both the fans and players frustrated. With a total of 6 yellow cards given throughout the game, the stats do not fully illustrate the tensions on the field as these teams fought to win under the lights. Much of this tension became noticeable when a high amount of risky headers–looking almost dangerous–became apparent when both teams were looking to win the ball in the air.
At the end of the first half there was still no score, even though both teams had high amounts of shots on goal throughout the entirety of the game. Southwestern boasted a total of 15, and Baylor trailed behind with 11. With so many shots on goal and very little score, it seems like target practice might be in the midst of the team practices coming up.
Towards the beginning of the first half the Bucs found their treasure in goal as they put up the first point on the scoreboard. #9 Jack Adams, a First-Year at Southwestern from Dallas, TX, found the net with an assist from #6 Wil Mekelberg. Headers continued to have a strong presence in this game from the high amount of air balls needing to be trapped. Baylor finally retaliated in the last twenty minutes of regular play time when they came back with a goal from #99 defensive player Martin Fisher, assisted by #10 Marcel Gaitan. The game continued long after this with two overtimes finally resulting in a tie.
The Men’s team weekend continued on Sunday at 8PM as they took on Concordia. They couldn’t quite finish out the game with a win and lost 2-1, even after Pirates: Kip Karschnik and Brendan Dauth found the net first in the beginning of the first half. Concordia scored shortly after and then again around the 60 minute mark of the game, Southwestern was able to hold them off for the rest of the game but could not advance their offense enough to score again.
The Bucs played with fire and aggression but ended up suffering in the area of penalties with a total of three yellow cards and two red cards. Concordia Texas with only one yellow card. Corner Kicks could very well be the focus of the Pirates’ training sessions this week in result of 4 corner kicks without one goal. If the Men’s team continues to play on the pitch as they did this weekend, their season will impress everyone who follows it!