Menís Soccer Thrashes Bluffton
The Oberlin men’s soccer team finally broke out of their scoring slump in a decisive 6-2 win over Bluffton on Wednesday, Sept. 20. After struggling to find the net in their previous six games, scoring only three goals, Oberlin scorched the Beaver defense with goals from five different players.
It was a strong performance by the Yeomen, following a disappointing 0-2 loss to Muskingum on Saturday, Sept. 16. Despite leaving Muskingum with a second loss of the season and second straight game without a goal, coach Blake New remained upbeat, stating that it will only be a matter of time before things start to click. “I don’t want the guys to get down on themselves. We have got to get results from our good plays, and it’ll come.”
New did not have to wait for long. The Yeomen gave up an early goal to the Beavers, who are now 0-5 in the season, but responded with six unanswered goals. Senior forward Tettah Morton came off the bench in the first half to level the score. He then turned provider to sophomore Zach “Lulu” Lewis, who scored the first of his two goals for the night.
The Yeomen continued to pressure Bluffton and scored their third goal eight minutes into the second half off a corner kick. Senior defender Montgomery Lobe headed the ball on goal and first-year Matt Aucunas got a touch to score his first goal of the season. The second half continued with Oberlin on the attack. Lewis scored his second after some good individual play. Sophomore Mike Mullaley and freshman Skyler Dum topped off Oberlin’s scoring with two more goals before Bluffton grabbed one back late in the game.
Oberlin dominated the game, outshooting the Beavers 21-11, while also having a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks. New was able to use this game as a chance to build some experience for his team, as all the players, including the three goalies, had a chance to play.
Oberlin had been playing relatively well over the past couple of games, but until the Bluffton game, could not buy a goal. Despite excellent ball possession and a strong defensive line, the Yeomen had a difficult time finding the goal in the 2-0 loss to Muskingum College at Muskingum last Saturday.
Coming off of a 0-0 draw against Case Western on Sept. 14, New altered the starting lineup against the Muskies by incorporating speed in an attempt to jump start its offensive game. While the team’s defensive core, composed of senior Monty Lobe, juniors Ross Myers and Tim Kovanda and sophomore John Linder, remained the same, New started senior Tettah Morton and sophomore Luke Hoffman at striker, and first-year Matt Aucunas and junior Henry Schneider to accelerate game play and apply pressure.
Throughout the game, the OC squad showed excellent play and dominated a number of statistical areas. They held possession the majority of the game and controlled the midfield, as well as taking 13 shots to Muskingum’s 16, forcing five saves, and winning the corner kick advantage 11-4.
A strong defensive effort by Oberlin led to a scoreless first half, but Muskingum gained the upper hand early in the second half with two early goals off a momentary breakdown in the Yeomen defense.
While the defense has been very strong, New stated how a couple of team defensive lapses have been pivotal to several games. “We’ve only made three defensive mistakes this season that resulted in three goals, all of which determine the outcome of the game.”
Muskingum’s first goal came in the 48th minute from a cross by first-year Danny Quiroz to an unmarked back post, where first-year Adam Mitchell finished with a header. Ten minutes later a scuffle inside the box resulted in Muskingum’s second goal. While deflecting a shot, a Muskingum player kicked senior Clayton Combe in the face and forced him away from the goal, leaving an open net for a player to score.
Oberlin moved to 2-2-3 overall after the win against Bluffton. They will host Westminster College in its final non-conference game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.