Men's soccer non-conference record suffers another blow

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Dieter Schultz’s overtime goal gave the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (5-0-2, 0-0) a 1-0 win. It also gave a big hit to DePauw’s (4-3, 0-0) postseason hopes.

“[Wednesday’s] game was extremely frustrating,” sophomore Julian Gonzalez said. “We outplayed them, but offensively we could not be creative enough. We know now that we need to work on finding new ways to break through teams defense and create more chances.”

Going into Wednesday night’s tilt, the Tigers had won each of their three previous games by a combined score of 8-1. However, the Engineers put a stop to DePauw’s recent offensive success by putting eight men behind the ball.

“They parked the bus inside the box,” senior forward Andy Morrison said about the Rose-Hulman defense.

Despite the added defenders, the Tigers were still fairly active inside the attacking third of the field. DePauw ripped 14 total shots with six of those challenging Rose-Hulman keeper Drew Miller.

In fact, for much of the game, DePauw outplayed the engineers. The Tigers had plenty of chances, but continued to come up just short.

DePauw limited the Engineers to only one shot in the 90 minutes of regulation, coming in the 26th minute.

“I loved the energy and felt the guys were ready to play,” DePauw head coach Brad Hauter said. “We knew their opportunities were going to come off of counters or restarts and for most of the game did a nice job of keeping them in check.”

It took over 99 minutes, but the Engineers finally broke through with only 11 seconds to play in overtime.

“Poor game management with 15 seconds to go,” Hauter said.

Now the Tigers are in an interesting position. With two non-conference games remaining on the schedule against Anderson University and Centre College, DePauw really needs to win both games to bolster their already flawed resume.

A win over undefeated Rose-Hulman would be nice for the NCAA selection committee to see, however, now DePauw’s loss to Franklin College will stand out.

“The pressure is still the same. We know that the only option from now on is to win every game,” Gonzalez said.

With those two non-conference games out of the way, the other eight matches left on the schedule will come against NCAC opponents beginning Saturday on the road against Hiram College.

For the Tigers, their only path to the NCAA postseason will most likely have to come through the automatic bid awarded to the conference’s tournament champion. To even get the chance to play for the conference title, the Tigers will have to finish be one of the conference’s top four teams at the end of regular season play. With perennial powerhouses Ohio Wesleyan University and Kenyon College ahead of them, things aren’t going to be easy for the Tigers.

“New season and opportunity for us,” Hauter said. “It has been a disappointing opening to the season but our main goals are still alive.”

The 16th ranked Terriers will be a difficult place for the Tigers to start their conference schedule. Going into Saturday’s matchup, Hiram stands at 5-2. DePauw will be their first conference game as well.

However, recent history is on the Tigers’ side. In six overall meetings between the two schools, DePauw holds an undefeated 4-0-2 record against the Terriers.

“It is very tough on team morale to lose any game,” Gonzalez said, “but the only thing we can do now is focus on the next one.”

Saturday’s kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday evening.