BY JOEY MERKEL
Good luck to the collective Capital Athletic Conference offense.
The University of Mary Washington men’s soccer team earned its sixth shut out of the year yesterday, defeating St. Mary’s College of MD, 2-0.
After losing the first game of the season last week following a five game win streak, junior Stefan Malone was glad to get back on track.
“It’s good that we were able to get over our first loss,” he said. “Saturday was the first time we got scored on this season and I’m happy we were able to come back.”
Head coach Roy Gordon agrees.
“It’s always important to get another win under your belt, you want to win every game,” he said.
The Eagles fought neck and neck with the Seahawks, both teams remaining scoreless in the first 30 minutes.
The game heated up with 14 minutes left in the first half thanks to a goal by UMW freshman forward T.L. Tutor.
St. Mary’s goalie was able to deflect Tutor’s shot, but sent it ricocheting off the far post and into the back of the net.
UMW senior Vincent Kooijman nearly tacked another goal on the board late in the second half after breaking away from the pack on the left side.
The Seahawks’ goalie left the box as Kooijman pushed past him with a seemingly open path to the goal. St. Mary’s defender Travis Zarker came out of nowhere at the last second to make a sliding save, the ball inches from crossing the goal line.
Sophomore Ryan Taibl brought the score to 2-0 later in the half before Kooijman and Zarker upped the tension on the field.
Zarker appeared to intentionally step on Kooijman while he was on the ground, earning the one and only yellow card of the game.
UMW entered the second half still up 2-0, as both teams focused on defense.
The Eagles came close to their third goal of the game with just under seven minutes left when Tutor found Kooijman on a cross.
St. Mary’s goalie managed to deflect the ball, earning his only save of the day.
The Eagles dodged a bullet late in the second half when St. Mary’s senior forward Alex Pyzik had a breakaway down the left side before facing UMW goalie, sophomore Emmett Rutkowski, one on one.
Pyzik’s shot missed, going just right of the goal.
Taibl said UMW had several close calls.
“We gave them a few chances, which we shouldn’t have and we got a little lucky,” he said.
The Eagles hung on to their lead to shut out St. Mary’s, led on defense by juniors Melone and David Rodriguez and sophomores Ryan Toohey and Matt Lawrey.
Gordon said he is proud of his team for bouncing back.
“The fact that they recovered [from last week’s loss], and they’re out of class by 2:50 and on the field ready to play by 4, it just speaks volumes,” he said.
Taibl was also proud of the team.
“We had a lot of opportunities and we finished them and got a great result,” he said. “And as always, our defense played tremendously.”
The Eagles, who are now 6-1 overall, will face North Carolina Wesleyan College Sunday.