The men’s soccer team began the season Monday afternoon against Anderson University home at Reavis Stadium. Sophomore Alec McCarty scored only six minutes into the game with a powerful header, putting the Tigers up 1-0. In the 23rd minute of the game, junior Ben Weidner pressured Anderson’s goalie on a routine pass back, forcing an error, and passing the ball into the net to double the Tigers lead.
Shortly before halftime, Anderson was able to get on the board after a scrappy scrum in front of DePauw’s net led to a tap-in goal from Anderson’s Caleb Gosner. A relatively quiet second half of play was broken open when Anderson’s Drew Vaughn netted a deep free kick with 15 minutes of play left, leveling the game at two goals each until its conclusion. Needless to say, a 2-2 tie was relatively disappointing for the Tigers, who had beaten Anderson comfortably in the previous two years.
On Wednesday, the men's team traveled to Franklin where they won 2-0. Sophomore Ethan Webster tallied a goal off a beautifully placed cross from Ben Weidner in the 32nd minute, which he was able to tap past the goalkeeper into the back of the net. In the remaining minutes of the game, DePauw doubled their lead when Weidner again scored with a powerful shot off a pass back from junior Sam Thiel.
On Friday, the Tigers battled the University of Chicago, a nationally ranked opponent. Chicago dominated possession and shot attempts throughout the contest, but excellent play and nine total saves by sophomore goalkeeper Alex Lundin kept the Tigers competing. U Chicago’s Kai Walsh slipped the one and only goal of the game past the Tigers in the 59th minute, after a brief battle in front of the Tiger’s goal. Although it was not the outcome the Tigers had hoped for, they played impressively against an accomplished University of Chicago team that is averaging three goals per game.
Despite a loss early in the season, there are some positive takeaways, according to Lundin.
“Obviously on the outside, it hurts the team, you never want to record a loss. We competed against a team like U Chicago who is, you know, a top five team in the nation… That's the standard of program we want to get at, that's where we want to be,” Lundin said.
Since playing U Chicago, the Tigers have gathered one win and one loss.
On Sunday, the Tigers traveled to Olivet College to play their final game of the week. Needless to say, the team finished the week strong after crushing Olivet 5-1. Goals were scored by senior Quinn Flaspohler, two by Sam Theil, sophomore Jack Kirby, and first-year Jack Powers. To conclude the two-week span, this past Wednesday, the Tigers suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss in a tight home game against Rose-Hulman. They then went on to tie both Milliken and Centre in 1-1 games. Only good things can stem from the adversities the team has faced, according to senior captain Jacob Fowler.
“This season has been an interesting one for sure… So far we have faced some tough opposition, but I believe this is the push we need to win a conference title. It is always our goal to reach our potential and hopefully this year we will be able to do so,” Fowler said.
The team now has a record of three wins, two losses, and three ties.