Men’s soccer tamed at Wash. U.; lose to the Bears 3–2

The men’s soccer team opened up its University Athletic Association (UAA) season on Saturday with a stiff test, traveling to St. Louis to play 10th-ranked Washington (Mo.) University. The Bears handed the Tartans their first loss of the season, beating them 3–2 with all five goals coming in the second half. Earlier last week, Carnegie Mellon came from behind to defeat the Grove City Wolverines 2–1 at Gesling Stadium.

Against Washington (7–2 overall, 1–0 in UAA), Carnegie Mellon (6–1, 0–1) struck first, with junior midfielder Dan Brackley scoring off a shot from 20 yards out to the near corner in the 65th minute. The Bears answered with a trio of goals coming in the 71st, 73rd, and 77th minutes.

Carnegie Mellon sophomore midfielder Ryan Browne narrowed the deficit to one goal in the 87th minute, when he scored his third goal of the season off a penalty kick, but the Tartans were unable to push across the tying goal.

Tartan junior goalkeeper Matthew Bazin made five saves in the loss. Carnegie Mellon took 14 shots compared to Washington’s 16.

“The level of play and the speed and the physical play in the UAA are something that going through two years ago, my freshman year, I was not ready for,” Bazin said. “The players are a lot bigger, the teams are more physical, and Wash. U. is very good this year.”

Last Tuesday night, the Tartans beat Grove City thanks to a solid second half and sophomore forward Ricky Griffin’s right foot.

Grove City senior Paul Cardinal picked a good time to score his first goal of the season, as he gave the Wolverines a 1–0 lead with only six seconds left in the first half. Cardinal received a pass from senior Eli Lamborn and took a shot from the right side of the box past Bazin and into the lower left corner of the goal.

Griffin netted the equalizer in the 53rd minute when he collected a loose ball in front of the 6-yard box and one-timed it into the goal. Browne’s free kick from 37 yards out set up the goal. Another free kick by Browne nearly gave the Tartans the lead in the 65th minute when he hit the crossbar.

Griffin scored the go-ahead goal in the 77th minute when he one-timed a pass from sophomore midfielder Keith Haselhoff. Haselhoff found Griffin with a pass from the top of the right side of the box that Griffin put away to the low right corner of the net. This goal gave Griffin a team-high seven goals on the season.

“Grove City is a good team, they work hard,” Bazin said. “They’re a frustrating team to play against because they play defensively. They get everyone behind the ball in their half of the field and defend pretty much. If you watched the game, we held the ball for 80 percent of the possession. It’s just frustrating having them score with less than 10 seconds left in the first half. It’s a character win for us, coming from behind. We’re pretty happy that we were undefeated going into UAAs.”

The Tartans will be in action again Saturday when they host the University of Chicago. The game is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. at Gesling Stadium.