The Tigers (8-1-2) remained undefeated in conference by taking down the Hiram College Terriers (5-5-2) 1-0 on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
“The campus was absolutely buzzing with alumni and fans here for Old Gold and that really added to the pumped-up atmosphere for the game,” said junior forward Jay Wheeler.
Although the Tigers came out with the win, the Terriers gave DePauw a hard time with getting on the scoreboard.
The majority of the game remained scoreless as DePauw fought to put a goal away. Head Coach Brad Hauter said the best way to describe the scoreless portion of the match was ‘uncomfortable’.
“Once we elevated the pace of the match I knew it was coming, but it is always 'uncomfortable' until the ball goes in,” said Hauter.
The first and only goal of the match came in the 76th minute from Wheeler. Junior forward Julian Gonzalez was credited with the assist.
“That goal came off of a great team combination that looked exactly like the drills we had been doing in practice,” said Wheeler. “The dynamic movement was what allowed us to create the opportunity and then it was all about being in the right place at the right time.”
It was Wheeler’s second goal of the season.
With only 15 minutes remaining in the match, the Terriers were not up to the challenge and could not net a goal, as Tigers pulled off their eighth win of the season.
Senior goalkeeper Chris Yount recorded two saves in the winning effort and was attributed with his sixth shut out of the season.
The men were very satisfied with the win and thought that it was a great finishing touch to their Senior Recognition Day celebration. The team will be graduating six seniors in the spring, each of which has made major contributions to the program.
“Their most incredible work has been in how they have brought this young team together to make us a big family,” said Hauter.
Many other players expressed similar attitudes towards the seniors.
“These seniors have helped this program reach the next level," said junior midfielder E.J. Moore. "Overall, they are just great people, who have done great things for all of us younger guys.
Sophomore defender Sam Peters agreed.
“All of the seniors are leaders on the team,” said Peters. “We're blessed to have such a great group of guys on and off the field.”
Now 3-0 in conference, the Tigers will travel to Springfield, Ohio on Wednesday to face Wittenberg University (3-8-2).
The men will have two practices in order to prepare to face the Wittenberg Tigers.
“Dictating pace and tempo is critical so we will work on speed of play these next couple days,” said Hauter.
In such a competitive conference as the NCAC, every conference game is crucial for the Tigers.
“It's a conference game against a team that has nothing to lose, anything can happen," said Moore. "If we play our game, we will get the result we want."
DePauw is scheduled to kick off against the Tigers at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.