By MADALYN CROWELL
During the UMW Classic tournament this past weekend, the Eagle’s mens soccer team tied the College of New Jersey 1-1 Saturday afternoon. After the regulation game and two overtimes, neither team reached victory, and the Eagles moved to 1-0-1.
Senior forward T.L. Tutor scored the lone goal for the Eagles in the 33rd minute of the first half and celebrated his accomplishment with a front flip. This was Tutor’s third goal of the season.
“T.L has been on great scoring form this year ,and he was able to attack the cross and beat the defender near post,” senior midfielder Jae Park said. Tutor went on to score another goal in the tournament during their game against Gettysburg College the following day.
The Eagles pressed on in the second half but were unable to secure another goal against a stiff New Jersey defense. Tutor expressed his disappointment in his team’s energy level and apparent contentment with their single goal.
“We need to learn to finish games strong and close teams out,” Tutor said. “We cannot get complacent and expect other people to make plays.” the home Lions matched the Eagles’ goal in the 32nd minute of the second half to tie the game.
The Eagles were uncertain of how Saturday’s game would go because of their unfamiliarity with the team.
“Our preparation was a little different compared to some of our games later in the season because we really had little information about the College of New Jersey,” Park said.
This year the UMW men are using a new field formation of 4-5-1, which consists of four defenders, five midfielders and one forward. Their coach decided upon this strategy in the hopes of making the opposition vulnerable with this new and creative attack. Since most of the team has never played in such a formation, they are still adjusting to the change but are seeing its benefits.
“I think one thing we need to improve on is playing simple and smart,” Park said. “We have a new formation this year, and we are still in the process of learning our runs and options. Having said that, once we get a couple more games under our belts, I think we’ll be fine.”
Tutor said that, after losing three of their starting defenders from last year’s team, it was important for the Eagles to get new players who could fill those spots this season. However, Tutor remains confident in the skill of his new teammates and doesn’t think they will have a problem fitting in.
“We have some good freshman this year who have seen a lot of playing time already and are able to play at a high level,” Tutor said.
This season, the men hope to win the CAC championship and have a chance to play in the national tournament. The freshman will need to step up, and the team as a whole will need to quickly adjust to the new formation for that to happen.
Sunday, the Eagles defeated Gettysburg College 3-1, moving them to 2-0-1 at this point in the season. They play their next home game against Catholic University on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m.