There won’t be any discussion of an undefeated season for DePauw University's men's soccer team this year.
After a win over John Carroll University in the season opener Friday night, the Tigers fell in double overtime to tournament host Ohio Northern University on Saturday.
John Carroll proved to be difficult competition for the Tigers in the game. The Blue Streaks outshot the Tigers 5-2 in the first 45 minutes and controlled the pace of play for the majority of the half.
Despite the mismatch, the two teams played nearly 70 minutes without a goal. All that changed when an Andy Morrison pass sprung sophomore Julian Gonzalez on a breakaway. Gonzalez’s goal would be all the Tigers needed as they hung on for a 1-0 win.
DePauw’s matchup against 23rd-ranked Ohio Northern University featured a little bit less defense.
The Tigers gained the early advantage, jumping out to a 2-0 lead at the half. Senior Morrison scored the first goal in the 34th minute on a feed from sophomore Zach Hoffman.
Morrison then beat the first half whistle, scoring a second goal, this one with 40 seconds remaining in the half.
The pair of goals pulled Morrison to third on the school’s all-time scoring list.
Although the outcome was not what he wanted, Morrison still focused on what the team did well.
“We moved the ball, controlled the game and got off to a convincing 2-0 lead at half,” Morrison said. “We let up to start the second half and they made us pay. Moving forward, we will have to improve on finishing games.”
As he noted, the second half was a different story for the Tigers. In the 52nd minute, sophomore Matt Kinkopf found the back of the net for ONU and cut the Tigers' lead to one. Kinkopf struck again just nine minutes later to even the score at two a piece, on a cross from freshman Grant Cayot.
The ensuing minutes were hard-fought, but neither team could find the back of the net until late in double overtime. With just under five minutes left in the second overtime period, ONU sophomore Austin Morton took a feed from senior Keegan Ross on a breakaway and buried the decisive score.
The Tigers held the advantage in shots 19-17, in addition to shots on goal at 9-7. DePauw goalie, senior Jake Pezzutto, totaled four saves, while ONU keeper Evan Bader tallied seven saves. ONU took eight corner kicks to the Tigers' five.
Despite the early loss, Hoffman is confident that the team’s best play is still ahead of them.
“As a team, we just need to focus on making better decisions on the field and staying composed during the game,” Hoffman said. “If we stay composed, there isn’t a team out there that can beat us.”
Morrison echoed Hoffman, noting that this one loss will not make or break their season. The end game is clear.
“Our biggest goal for the season is still to make a run at the national championship,” Morrison said.
The Tigers now look to bounce back in their next match Wednesday, Sept. 3, as they travel to Franklin College to take on the Grizzlies.