October 14, 2022 | SPORTS | By Ben Hayes-Lemmon | Photo by Anil Jergens
This article was originally written for the Oct. 7 edition of The Catalyst Newspaper. It has been updated for this week’s edition.
One of the undoubtedly most passionate teams at Colorado College has been building an incredible season from intense hard work, a sturdy mentality, and an impeccable ability to learn from early results.
CC’s Men’s Soccer team was met with immediate adversity this season after starting off with a record of 0-2-1 in their first three games against Willamette University, University of Puget Sound, and Pacific Lutheran University. To add insult to injury, the team was outscored 9-4 between the three matchups.
“Our biggest struggle so far this year was the early results,” said midfielder Remi Maher ‘26. “It was not a confidence booster to start the season winless.”
However, the season was far from over, and the men decided to learn from the rough start; they’ve since bounced back in a dramatic fashion. Since the first three games, the Tigers have gone undefeated with a record of 5-0-2, beating out some of the toughest competition in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
CC outscored their opponents 16-4 in those seven games, beginning to assert some dominance and regain their confidence as the SCAC regular season started on Friday, Sept. 30.
An undefeated team met the Tigers for the first game of the regular season. The Tigers took on the No. 15 ranked team in all of NCAA Division III soccer: the University of Saint Thomas, who hadn’t played a single minute this season where they were down by a goal.
“It doesn’t really matter who we’re playing, our mentality has to be the same,” said midfielder Alexander Ward ‘24. “We pride ourselves on being the hardest working team in SCAC, that’s all we needed to focus on.”
The men were not at full strength, rocking a lineup missing Captain Sajji Singh ’23, as well as midfielder Kevin Peterson ‘23, the top goal contributor on the season so far. However, this allowed the young talent present in midfielder Jake Zaas ‘26, midfielder Alex Meyerhoff ‘25, midfielder Will Bavier ‘25, and midfielder Connor Webster ‘26, to shine through in a real way as the Tigers secured a hard-fought tie against an undefeated, nationally ranked team.
After an early goal by forward Ian Alvarez of St. Thomas only 11 minutes in, the Tigers quickly responded with a spectacular goal by Meyerhoff at minute 18. The rest of the game was a defensive battlefield, with St. Thomas taking just seven shots on goal to CC’s six.
Sunday, Oct. 2, marked the second game in the SCAC regular season for the Men’s Soccer team as they prepared to take on Centenary College. This game was a good representation of the growth already seen throughout the Tigers roster.
The men controlled the ball for most of the game, outshooting Centenary by a stunning margin. The Tigers shot the ball 31 times as opposed to Centenary’s five.
This game was a perfect example of the relentless, never-say-die attitude showcased in each of the teams’ practices. Despite total dominance the entire game, the men gave it their best effort for the full 90 minutes.
The first goal was scored in the 17th minute by Meyerhoff off a sneaky assist from midfielder Alexander Ward ‘24. Around the 69th minute, Ward was assisted by midfielder Oliver Ramirez ‘26 to score a goal of his own.
The final nail in St. Thomas’ coffin came about due to another assist by Ramirez to defender Curtis Hale ‘25. Key to the shutout was also starting goalkeeper Jasper Broad ‘26, who made two crucial saves to secure the win.
“Today’s win was a strong performance from back to front,” head coach Scott Palguta told Colorado College Athletic Communications.
According to CC Athletic Communications, the last time the Men’s Soccer team held a seven-game unbeaten streak was in 2019, which was also the last time they won the regular season title.
As hopes begin to build of another SCAC title, the team seems focused and unafraid of any other teams that might come their way.
“We consider ourselves some of the toughest competitors,” said Hale. “SCAC feels wide-open this year. There’s no clear front-runner.”
Expectations are starting to fill the air, but the team is focused and hopes to take advantage of the momentum that they are gaining.
“Every game has to be treated like a Final now that we’re in the regular season,” said Maher. “The games are played round-robin, so each game really counts.”
Looking ahead, the team will travel to Texas this weekend to play Southwestern University and Texas Lutheran University.