Men’s soccer opened their season at home in a successful fashion against Franklin University, taking the edge in a 3-0 competition.
The Tigers came into this game seeing red after losing the matchup last year.
“This was a revenge game, plain and simple,” said junior forward Jonathan Wheeler. “We dropped the ball last year at Franklin, and every player on the field last night knew it wasn’t going to happen again.”
Wheeler and junior forward Zach Hoffman broke open the scoring in the first half with goals, both coming from low crosses over the middle that broke the defensive line.
Hoffman later added his second goal of the game with fifteen minutes to play on a strike from near 35 yards away, launching it over the goalkeeper into the top left corner of the net.
The Tigers were in control for the entire game, winning the defensive and possession battle, and capitalizing on holes in the Franklin University back line.
Manager Brad Hauter says he is “[v]ery happy with the performance and the balance we have in all aspects of the game.”
Hauter was also pleased with the chemistry the team displayed on the field.
From a spectator’s point of view, everybody seemed to be clicking with each other. Passes were smooth, the runs made were well timed, the defense was communicating and preventing lapses in play, and goalkeeper Christopher Yount was on top of his game. While he credited the defense for making his job “very easy”, the senior had three saves in the win.
Going forth with the rest of the season, Hauter says that attention to detail is “critical” for having a successful season.
“One touch, one moment, one mistake can be the difference between making the tournament and being left out,” said Hauter.
A tournament season is definitely part of the plan for the men’s team, and these non-conference games will certainly help prepare for the conference games that will certainly test the will and vigor of the squad going forward.
The Tigers travel to Michigan on Friday to take on Olivet, a team DePauw beat in their last meeting two years ago.
At this point last year, the Tigers were only 1-2, which will give them even more motivation in keeping a perfect record throughout the weekend.