By MADALYN CROWELL
The UMW men’s soccer team defeated the St. Mary’s Seahawks at home last Sunday, Oct. 31, with a 1-0 shutout in the first round of the CAC Tournament. The Seahawks season ended with a record of 5-13-2, while the Eagles improved to 10-5-2 and advanced to the semifinals in Pennsylvania against York College.
The first half of Sunday’s game ended without a score on either side. Senior midfielder Ryan Taibl had three shots, including one shot on goal. Taibl took an unsuccessful penalty kick during the first half, and after the game he expressed that this was a low point for him.
“Personally, I lost confidence after I missed a penalty kick in the first half,” Taibl said. “But my teammates picked me back up at halftime and I got back on my game.”
Senior forward T.L. Tutor scored the lone goal for the Eagles during the 59th minute of the game to give UMW the lead. Tutor’s 13th goal of the season came with no response from the Seahawks and proved to be the deciding score in the game.
“If we can continue to limit opponent’s opportunities we will give ourselves a chance to win against any team,” Tutor said. “Now we have another shot at York, who we had a disappointing game with in the regular season. At this point, every game could be my last, but if we keep winning, we will continue playing, and there is no telling how far this team could go.”
Men’s soccer Head Coach Roy Gordon was also happy with the way his team performed Sunday against the Seahawks.
“The team had a very solid game,” Gordon said. “We were sound in the back and gave St. Mary’s very few opportunities to score. The counterattack goal, including a well-timed pass by John Tarley and very composed finish by T.L. Tutor was excellent. Of course we would have liked to have finished a couple of the good chances that we created in the first half, but I am pleased with the win.”
This was the second shutout of the season for freshman goalie Blake Weiss. Weiss made three saves during the game, anchoring the defense for UMW and helping to secure an Eagles’ win.
“Our defensive did a great job by stepping to pressure and minimizing opposing chances on goal,” Weiss said. “I never lost confidence that we would win the game. It was such a solid effort offensively and defensively. As long as we continue to perform as we did in our last game, we should compete for a spot in the NCAAs.”
UMW’s road semifinal matchup against York took place last night, Nov. 3. The Eagles fell to the Spartans 2-0, with both of York’s goals coming in the first half of play. The loss ended the men’s soccer season as the team finished 10-6-2 on the year.