MEN’s SOCCER: Tops lack complete game effort in split

Joanie Baker

Western sang the blues in the Music City this weekend, as it came away from the Vanderbilt tournament with a tie and a loss.

Though neither game was a victory, the team did a flip-flop, showing defensive strength on Friday when it tied with the College of Charleston 1-1, and offensive experience Sunday in its loss to Davidson, 2-1.

Unfortunately, the flip and the flop never came together to finish opportunities and grab the wins.

Sophomore Steven Medlock said the change was the result of playing two totally different teams. He said Charleston sent a lot of players forward and Western (2-4-1) sat back and waited to counter attack, resulting in only long shots by Charleston. The Cougars (3-2-1) outshot Western offensively 24-10.

“We can’t put together a complete game,” Medlock said. “We have been playing each game in spurts with memory lapses in between. If we want to play together as a team, we have to overcome these lapses and put together at least 80 minutes of good play, rather than 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there.”

Though an obvious display of defensive performance, including 10 saves posted by goalkeeper Wade Roepke, Medlock said Western just didn’t finish its offensive opportunities.

Coach David Holmes said the Charleston game was very fast paced and took a lot out of the team. But captain Scott DeGaris said the game could have been won in the first half.

“We came out sluggish in the first half,” DeGaris said. “Had we come out on the right foot and scored early when we had the opportunity, we would have given ourselves a better chance.”

Western outshot the Wildcats 12-10, but was down going into halftime after the Wildcats (4-1-2) made a shot seven yards out.

David Babula tied the score six minutes after halftime, but Davidson came back in the 69th minute to net the game-winning goal.

DeGaris said Western let Davidson run the game.

“They spread the game out and got into their style,” DeGaris said. “We gave up a late goal that was really hard to come back from. We need to work on mental concentration all 90 minutes. This is a game that’s played not one half or the other, but all 90 minutes.”

Holmes said the team needs to work on the ability to pull out two games in a 48-hour period because it will continue to happen this season.

Despite the losses, Medlock said the team is young. They are playing good teams and still keeping up, without being blown away the way most young teams would.

“We’re a good team, we’re just not getting chances to show it as we continue to play the best teams in our division,” Medlock said. “We’re a young team, and we’re trying to gel together. Once that happens, and we play like we can, we could beat any team in the nation.”??

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