By DANELLA DONADO
The University of Mary Washington men’s soccer team won the first round of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament against visiting team, Frostburg State on Saturday, Oct. 28. The final score was 3 to 1, in favor of Mary Washington.
“This year we’ve been the most repaired, you know we’re all on the same page and we all know where we want to go and accomplish and we all have that we’re-not-done-yet mentality,” said senior player,Tommy Mead, after the Eagle’s win on Saturday.
The Eagle’s scored their first goal during the first half at almost twenty minutes into the game by junior, Ryan Van Maanen, with an assist by junior Gary Foley, off of a free kick. This was Mary Washington’s fifth attempt at a goal in the first half.
Their next goal came towards the end of the half by freshman, Joshua Everard. Goalkeeper, Matt Spencer, made two saves during the first period, with only one goal getting through by Frostburg State’s, Alferid Kemal. At halftime the score was 2 to 1 with Mary Washington leading by one.
Mary Washington had a strong defense during the second half of the game, blocking any shots made by Frostburg State, thereby preventing them from scoring any goals during the second half. The third and final goal for Mary Washington came early on during the second half by junior Justin Carey, who headed it past the goalie with an assist from Ryan Van Maanen. At the end of the game, the Eagles had the lead in shots, 17 to 9, and in corner kicks, 5 to 3.
“Our team goal for this game was to keep a clean sheet and it was hard, we had some unlucky bounces but overall we did our best to keep shooting and getting goals in,” said Mead when asked about how the team improved during this game.
“Our organization was better defensively… We’ve been working on the details for the different sets of offense and defense, our intensity was much, much higher than our last game,” said head coach, Jason Kilby, when asked how the team has improved overall since their last game.
This victory is important to the team for many reasons. It advances them to the semi-finals of the Coastal Athletic Conference tournament, a step closer to their goal of winning the conference championship, which the Eagles have not done since 2001. It also helped to boost the team’s morale overall.
According to goalkeeper, Matt Spencer, this was an emotional win for the team as it helped move them past their losses against St. Mary’s and against Christopher Newport during homecoming.
“Our last three games we couldn’t emotionally get over losing two of the three [but] I am just really proud of the group of guys for getting up and being passionate… today’s game came from the heart, we played with a lot of heart today,” said Spencer.
Looking towards their next games, which are the semi-finals of the CAC tournament and the upcoming NCAA Tournament, Coach Kilby said the main thing the group was gonna focus on was recovering from their last games and mentally getting ready for the next round of the games in the tournament.
“I have been very proud of this group; they have worked extremely hard and it’s enjoyable when you have a group of young men who work hard,” said Coach Kilby after the Eagle’s win on Saturday. “The main thing is to fully recover… At this time of year, it’s not so much about becoming better, it’s more about being fresh and ready to play.”