The SVSU men’s soccer team had a small setback last weekend, only mustering a scoreless draw with Lewis University. After an opening weekend that featured a 0-0 draw with the defending national champions University of Charleston, and an exciting 2-1 win over Alderson Broaddus, the Cardinals could not keep up the momentum.
The No. 24-ranked Cardinals outshot the Flyers 12-7 (including a 4-0 advantage in shots on goal) in a game that was held at Davenport University, but they couldn’t find a goal in regulation or in either of the match’s two overtime periods.
“Overall, we felt that we didn’t perform to our standards (Friday) as a team and as a staff,” head coach Andy Wagstaff said. “The excitement of the opening weekend had worn off, and we just didn’t get as up for the match as we needed to.”
SVSU appeared to be off to a good start, as it notched four shots in the game’s opening 11 minutes.
However, Lewis’ defense held strong in front of goalkeeper Edgar Avila. In the 17th minute, junior midfielder Pablo Ortiz had a shot that hit the post, missing goal by just a few inches.
“(Friday) was a once in a blue moon game,” Ortiz said. “I had a few shots in the first 20 minutes, and one hit the post. I got behind their back line a couple times. After that, I changed roles and did nothing special.”
In the first overtime, freshman midfielder Brady Walker had a shot on goal, but Avila was there for the save.
Late in the second overtime, a header shot by freshman midfielder Joe Wright sailed wide, ending the game in a scoreless draw.
Wagstaff is confident the goals will come with time.
“We have some very good attacking pieces who are all very young,” he said. “As soon as they grab a goal or two each, then they will hit their stride and get us the required goals that we need to accomplish our team objectives this year.”
Despite the struggle to find the net offensively, SVSU’s defense continues to stifle opposing teams.
The squad has allowed just one goal in the season’s first three games.
“We have an outstanding defense, as a team, and individually as defenders,” Ortiz said. “We have a couple great leaders back there, and the coaching staff is very strong defensively.”
For their final game of the weekend, the Cardinals took to the field against Tiffin, which concluded after this week’s production of The Valley Vanguard.
Next weekend, SVSU opens GLIAC play against conference newcomer Wisconsin Parkside on Friday, Sept. 14.