Men’s soccer brings home program’s 500th win in regular season finale

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The Tigers closed out their regular season Saturday with a 3-2 defeat over Allegheny (4-11-2, 3-5-1 NCAC) in a hard fought game on the road. 

Despite the seven-hour drive and energy brought by the Gators in an attempt to win their senior night, DePauw (11-2-4, 6-1-2 NCAC) proved that their winning season has not been a fluke.

Head coach Brad Hauter believes that the win is a result of the team’s ability to move the ball in transition, even though Allegheny proved competitive in their restarts and throw-ins.

A scoreless 27 minutes in the first half was broken by a goal from senior midfielder Alieu Musa off an assist from junior EJ Moore. This point was followed-up shortly after by another goal from sophomore forward Taras Tataryn with an assist from Musa.

“It took a little while before we knocked one in. After that, the floodgates opened and we were able to put a couple more in,” Tataryn said.

The Tigers went into the half up 2-0, but their first half goals were quickly answered with a goal from Allegheny’s Aaron Donahoe at the 51-minute mark in the second half.

“In the second half…I felt we took our foot off the gas and let them get chances which led to a couple of fluke goals,” Tataryn said.

The Tigers responded to Allegheny with their third goal of the game in the 75th minute, which came from senior midfielder Adrian Ables.

Although the Gators fought hard to get another point on the board with a the goal from Brenton Stoddart late in the last two minutes of the game, their efforts were not enough for a comeback victory, as the Tigers came away with the 3-2 win.

“Overall we had a solid performance,” Musa said. “It wasn't anything spectacular but it was good enough to get the job done. We outplayed Allegheny but we just were not as fluid and effective as we can be.”

Despite the Tigers' struggle for consistency throughout the game, the win marked the men’s soccer program’s 500th victory since its founding in 1966.

“We do not get to 500 without the work of Charlie Erdmann and Page Cotton and without the incredible sacrifice of hundreds of incredible players,” Hauter said. “It is an accomplishment that means a great deal to all of those that have been a part of this program through the years.”

Erdmann (11-14-3) and Cotton (390-190-33) both had served as head coach of the men’s soccer program. In 2008, Hauter took over for Cotton, who had been with the program for 39 seasons.

Although 500 wins is an impressive milestone, the men still have a difficult road ahead if they hope to become North Coast Athletic Conference champions, and ultimately make a run in the NCAA tournament.

“We have been knocked out by [Ohio Wesleyan] the past two years since I've been here so I am glad we get another shot at them,” junior forward Julian Gonzalez said. “We understand that we need to win to have a chance for the NCAA tournament and we are not settling for an at-large bid.”

The men will travel to Ohio Wesleyan on Wednesday to take on The Battling Bishops in the NCAC Tournament semifinal at 7 p.m. For Gonzalez and the Tigers, their approach these next two days will be simple.

“Our entire focus is on winning this game Wednesday, nothing else.”