Pictured Above: Men’s soccer focuses on the defensive side of the ball. (File Photo)
By Cale Eirich
In their opening game of a two game weekend in Aurora, Colorado, the Builders fought down to the wire against the Dordt College Defenders, Sioux Center, Iowa. However, lost 1-0 in overtime.
A unique challenge to the Moundbuilders “They lost last year 1-0 to the national champions,” explained Kyle Pond, head soccer coach. “So they were good competition today.”
Despite having more opportunities than Dordt, the Builders struggled to find the back of the net allowing the Defenders to hang around. Justin Calicchia, junior midfielder, failed to convert on a penalty kick in the 15th minute of the first half.
“We played really, really well” said Pond. “We definitely had the far better chances including the penalty kick.”
Dordt had the edge when it came to shots on goal, out shooting the Builders 11 to 9. The Builders were successful moving the ball up the field to provide them opportunities throughout the game.
“They definitely battled, and for the first time this season we moved the ball exceptionally well,” Pond said.
Tied at zero after 90 minutes the Builders forced their first overtime of the season.
“We put high pressure on them to keep the ball on their half,” said Chandler Hall, sophomore defensive mid-fielder. “That led to us winning the ball on their half which gave us good opportunities to score.”
The Defenders didn’t need long to take advantage of Southwestern’s missed opportunities in extra time. Just 36 seconds into the overtime period Dordt’s Stephen Brinkerhoff, senior defender, passed the ball up the left side allowing Colton Schreur, junior forward, to chip in the game winning goal from eight yards out.
“We played a hard fought game and in our eyes controlled most of it,” said Hall. “It was a cross in that deflected off of our player, it was unfortunate to lose in that way.”
With the Builders now falling to 0-4 on the season, they can use a game like this to be more effective in close games later in the season.
Dean Wilson, junior goalkeeper, explained “We know what we need to accomplish in hard games like the one today, as we will have many games like this.”
The team has a plan to reach their goals this season with a motto of “No Excuses.”
“We’re going to have to defend what team we want to be, raise to that level, and keep it there,” said Pond.
The Builders next match will be in Aurora, Colorado, against Johnson and Wales on Sunday, September 10.
Cale Eirich is a freshman majoring in communication. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org