On Sept. 13, the Men’s Soccer Team had its home opener against Mount St. Joseph University’s Lions. It was rainy and cold, but the Tigers were setting the field on fire. After five games on the road, with four losses and one tie, the home field advantage was with the team as they beat the Lions, 4-2.
In the first half, the Tigers started Spencer Pritchett, ’20, as goalkeeper, making it his second start of the season. Through the first half, Pritchett had six saves as the Lions worked hard to score. The Tigers scored their first goal of the game 3 minutes into the first half. The shot was made by Austin Lewis, ’19, with the assist from David Quayle, ’21. That first goal got the Tigers fired up and was followed by another goal one minute later by Sam Bechtel, ’20.
The Lions made both of the team’s goals in the first half, but it took them until the 22 minute mark of the first half, until the second goal was scored with 10 minutes left in the half.
The second half started out with Jack Snider, ’19, heading out to his home between the goal posts, where he had two beautiful saves. But, the Lions were out to take the lead and the Tiger defense wasn’t going to give anything up. There were nine shots taken and six of them were for the Lion’s, both teams wanting to take the lead.
During the half, there were a total of nine fouls, four for Wittenberg and five for Mount St. Joseph, and three yellow cards, two for Wittenberg and one for Mount St. Joseph. After the Lion’s first foul, Wittenberg’s Lewis took a penalty kick and scored, giving the Tigers the lead. With 18 minutes left in the game, Alberto Zaragoza, ’19, found the sweet spot and sent a shot into the back of the goal putting the Tigers ahead 4-2.
That was the final goal of the game for both the Tigers and the Lions, but the excitement wasn’t over. There was a yellow card distributed, a goalie switch for the Lions and two shots taken by the Tigers. All in all, the game ended with a victory for Wittenberg.
“Obviously it’s nice to win, but we are in the early stages of rebuilding the program and our most important victories are the small ones that aren’t necessarily seen outside the team,” Dwight Burgess, head coach, said. “We got off to a great start building a two-goal lead, then fell back allowing Mount to tie the match at two. Our goal in the second half was to work as hard as we could for 45 minutes no matter what the final score might be. We had a great group of veterans who went out and did just that. We have a long way to go and won’t be measuring our success on wins and losses or score-lines for that matter, but we have a great group of guys and we’re excited about the future.”
Look out for the Tigers as the team returns home on Tuesday, Sept. 26 against Earlham College.