With four wins in a row, the Colorado College men’s soccer team is on a roll. The team had two wins in Texas over the weekend against Austin College (2–1–1) and the University of Dallas (2–2). Their next win came against Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference newcomer Johnson & Wales University (2–2) on Sept. 11, a match that ended in a 1–0 victory for the Tigers.
The Tigers had a challenging stretch of three games in six days but powered through with great performances from the starting lineup and bench. Their defense has been especially impressive, allowing no goals in the past four games.
During the match against Austin College, the team did well to keep their offensive pressure dialed all the way up. The Tigers led the Kangaroos in shots, shots on target, and corner kicks.
Midfielder Samson Heyer ‘21 drove the charge and scored the game-winning goal for the Tigers. Heyer dribbled through the defense and made a clinical finish to put the Tigers up in the 11th minute, a lead that would never falter in the 1–0 victory.
They also led in fouls, indicating their disruptive and aggressive defense. Goalie Keller Mochel ’20 secured his third straight clean sheet of the season, and the Tigers only allowed two shots on target. Midfielder Will Mallory ’21 had high praise for the back five.
“Our defense has been solid,” Mallory said. “[Mochel] made some fantastic saves, and our back line put themselves on the line as always.”
The strong Tiger defense kept up when the Tigers traveled to the University of Dallas on Sept. 9.
The Tigers came out swinging in the first minute, as defender Henry Schuler ’19 picked up a yellow card fewer than 30 seconds after kickoff. In total, the Tigers had 13 fouls against the Crusaders’ 12.
The Tigers kept their opponents away from anything near a deadly scoring chance against the Crusaders in another 1–0 victory. Mallory struck for the only necessary goal for the Tigers in the 24th minute. He took advantage of a sloppy Dallas turnover and launched a shot to the near post that the Dallas goalie had no prospect of turning away.
Other than Mallory’s early strike, the Tigers had a somewhat weak offensive performance. The Tigers only managed one shot on target out of their seven in total. Picking up the slack, the defense stayed strong, and Mochel had his fourth career clean sheet.
Mallory spoke on what defined the offensive attack for the Tigers on their trip to Texas.
“We did a good job of pressuring the teams we played higher up the field,” Mallory said. “We had some good movement in the middle and attacking thirds, but our final pass and decisiveness on the ball could be better.”
He went on to elaborate on the importance of the two away victories. “Two victories on the road are big-time results,” Mallory said. “Traveling is hard on everyone, so it’s good we could pull those off and get them out of the way.”
Next, the Tigers faced Johnson & Wales, the ninth and newest member of the SCAC. In the inaugural first conference matchup between the two teams, the Tigers were victorious 1–0.
The Tigers were clean and powerful in this win, with no yellow cards for the first time in several games. The Tigers had 13 shots as opposed to the Wildcats’ four, and none of those four were on target. Mochel was unchallenged in his fifth straight clean sheet.
Midfielder Rory Buck ’21 provided the only necessary goal against the Wildcats. He knocked his 27th-minute strike off of a Mallory corner kick, one of the Tigers’ seven corners in the game. The goal marked Buck’s first of his collegiate career.
It was an all-around domination by the Tigers in this match, as Wildcat keeper Alexis Araiza had to deal with 10 shots on target, and even though he stopped nine, it just wasn’t enough against the red-hot Tigers.
Colorado College looks ahead to two home games this weekend, first playing Texas Lutheran University (2–1) at 7 p.m. on Sept. 14 and then Southwestern University (3–1) at 11 a.m. on Sept. 16. Come out and support your Tigers!