MEN’s SOCCER: Tops trounced by Flyers, 6-0

Joanie Baker

Without a goal to its name, the Hilltopper soccer team lost its first exhibition game against Dayton on Thursday, 6-0.

Coach David Holmes said the two teams are starting the season at different levels. Many Dayton players played in the Professional Development League over the summer and therefore had an advantage, Holmes said.

“The preparation was different for an exhibition game than a real game,” Holmes said. “We tried to play everyone to get ready for the first game.”

Freshman Wade Roepke played the entire game, his first as a goalkeeper. But his eight saves did not keep Dayton from scoring four goals in the first half.

Holmes said he was disappointed with the support Roepke received from Western’s experienced defenders.

“We have relaxed defensively with Daryl Sattler in the goal because he’d come up with a good save,” Holmes said. “We have to play a more solid defense in front of the goal now.”

Offensively the Hilltoppers played strong, but their five attempted goals couldn’t find the back of the net. Preseason all-Missouri Valley Conference pick Richard Mupfudze and junior transfer Trey Alexander each took two shots. Sophomore Jacob Isenhour took three.

Holmes hopes the team will make proper adjustments before playing its first game Friday against Lipscomb in Nashville.

The coaches have employed a new game plan because the old 4-3-2-1 system, which worked with the players who played last spring, does not suit the players on the roster this fall, Holmes said.

“We’re going into games as underdogs, away from home,” Holmes said. “We must do everything we can to be tougher physically and mentally. I’ll be happy with nothing less than a win in Nashville.”

Reach Joanie Baker at [email protected]