Captains break four game overtime streak with victory over Spartans
Conference play has finally arrived for the Men’s Soccer team, and they quickly discontinued their streak of 110 minute games. Prior to this match, it had been three weeks since a game had been decided by the end of regulation.
Despite a shorter game than fans have become used to attending at Captains Field, the Men’s team still gave them plenty to cheer about throughout the game.
Against their first conference opponent, the York (Pa.) Spartans, the offense had something to prove, and it did not take them long to start adding names to the scoresheet.
Just under three minutes into the conference, goalie #27 Justin Piercy launched a deep ball from his box all the way to the opposing 18. #7 Justin Wilson was not going to let such a beautiful kick go to waste, beating the defense to the ball and cheekily chipping the goalie for the first goal of the game.
The assist would mark the first point picked up by Piercy in his collegiate career.
Wilson wasn’t done for the night, however. About twenty minutes into the half Wilson and #29 Will Collins made the Spartan defense look silly off of a header won by Collins in their attacking third. Wilson’s quick one-touch pass to Collins allowed him to take the ball wide and cross it back in to Wilson, who easily slid into the ball, sending it bottom left corner.
Wilson’s goals would triple his goal total for the season and move him up to the second-highest point total for the team this season with seven points.
As impactful as Wilson was, he was not the only player testing the York (Pa.) defense. The Captains shot a total of 20 times, with 11 shots on target (five of them from Wilson himself).
Late into the second half a second Captain would be able to add a score of his own: #25 Lincoln Kickbush. Kickbush was the beneficiary of a great run by #9 Colin McMunn, who slipped by his defender to send a pass towards #11 Gabe Splett. Splett was able to find a wide open Kickbush in the middle, who neatly shot between two defenders and the goalie to earn his third goal of the season.
Three goals would prove too much for the York (Pa.) team to overcome, and the final twenty minutes of the game were a mere formality with the Captain’s controlling possession of the ball and never letting through any real opportunities past the midfield.
Although the offensive play was dominant, the defense did their fair share contributing to the 3-0 shutout. Piercy was more than capable of handling York’s eight shots on target. The defense kept the Spartan offense to just ten shots total and only four corners.
Although not many defender’s names were called during the match, they quietly earned themselves their third shut out of the season. Starting defenders #18 Davis Pillow, #23 Jacob Dudley, #31 Derek Cook and #33 Daniel Hulett all played the majority of the match with just a few substitutions, and Cook and Hulett played the whole 90 minutes themselves.
Piercy picked up his second clean sheet in the last three games and has allowed just seven goals facing 46 shots this entire season for a save percentage of 84.8 percent.
The York (Pa.) offense, in contrast, looked disorganized at times, racking up six offsides calls in the match and unable to seriously test the limits of Piercy. These offsides killed York’s momentum on key throughballs and dangerous counter-attack attempts.
Goalkeeper for the Spartans, #1 Billy Bridegum, was under fire all night long, and despite five good saves, he was no match for the intensity that Wilson and the rest of the Captain offense brought.
For the Captains, this marks their first game in four matches where they did not have to play through double overtime. They have already tied opponents more this season than their last two seasons combined, and they have played the most double overtime games since their 2015 season.
This is also their first win since their Sept. 7 match against Gettysburg College, improving their record to 4-1-3 on the year and 1-0 in conference play. They currently sit third in the Capital Athletic Conference, behind Mary Washington and Salisbury. They will look to quickly rack up conference wins as two of their next three opponents also lost their first conference game this weekend.
The Captain’s next home games will be against Mary Washington on Oct. 5 and St. Mary’s College (Md.) on Oct. 9.
~Matthew Scherger, Editor-in-Chief~