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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Men’s soccer slips in season start

Michael Hurley ’16 dribbles against the University of Dubuque on Wednesday, Sept. 3. Photo by Sarah Trop.

The men’s soccer team kicked off its season with a series of home games that resulted in an overtime 1-0 loss to North Division’s fifth-ranked Carleton College last Sunday, followed by a 0-0 tie against University of Dubuque on Wednesday. 

In retrospect about Carleton’s game, goalkeeper and co-captain Isaiah Tyree ’15, who made several noteworthy saves himself, lauded his teammates for their hard-fought effort. The players managed to keep a ranked opponent “on their toes” for 97 minutes. However, he said his teammates were “unlucky,” as none of them managed to score.

Co-captain Elliot Meyer ’15 agreed with Tyree’s sentiment.

“We definitely generated a lot of chances, [but] that final touch, that last pass wasn’t really there,” he said. “And when it was, we just didn’t get the finish.”

Against Dubuque, Grinnell failed to take advantage of many scoring opportunities—eight of the 20 shots were on goal. Additionally, despite the red card given to Dubuque’s Kyle Klatka in the 71st minute, Grinnell could not capitalize and find the back of the net.

As a matter of fact, the Pioneers survived a scare when Dubuque was awarded a penalty kick at the 79th minute mark. The kicker, however, failed to convert as the shot hit the post and went wide of the goal. 

“Some days, you’re going to score eight goals, [and] some days you’re going to score zero [even] when you have the same number of chances,” Meyers said. “We’ve just got to keep working hard. It’s early in the season. By the time we get to Conference, we’ll be putting them in.”

Despite the scoreless season so far, head coach Brian Jaworski believes consistent practice will enhance the players’ ability to finish at the net and will result in more goals scored in the future.

“We need to continue repetition in front of the net, [in] all different ways: head balls, balls being laid back, through balls,” he said. “And what’s nice is that we will probably do a lot of that [in practice]—finishing and inside-the-box-type stuff.”

Nevertheless, the players noted a solid improvement in the defense even as chances escaped the team.

“I think we’ve improved a lot defensively as a unit,” said co-captain Michael Hurley ’16. “Our back four has only allowed one goal in overtime and we didn’t allow a goal in 110 minutes today.”

The Pioneers will continue its string of non-Conference games tomorrow against Aurora University and next Wednesday against Coe College at home in Springer Field. 

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