On Saturday afternoon, the men’s soccer team snagged a win over the Hiram College Terriers, 5-1, and took the time to honor their five seniors: Jack Snider, Kevin Helt, Alberto Zaragoza, Austin Lewis and Christian Randazzo.
“There’s certainly no better way to end a season than with a win. But, when you add to it a home victory on senior night, well it’s hard to get any better,” Coach Dwight Burgess said.
Starting the game off, the Terriers were playing with a fierce offense, which caused the Tigers to pull-out their claws and play with a ferocious defense. Shots were taken by River Banks, ’21, Eli Esterline, ’22, Helt and Zaragoza in the first 16 minutes of the game, but none managed to sneak past the Terriers keeper. Deterring the Terriers from scoring was proving to be difficult and was then foiled when Hiram scored their first and only goal of the night 18 minutes into the first half.
The final shot of the first half was made by Scott Durham, ’20, who swiped the ball right into the hands of the Hiram goalkeeper with 55 seconds left to play.
The second half was the one for the Tigers, who came out of halftime ready to show the Terriers how they play the game. Zaragoza, with the assist of Helt, drove the ball up the field and managed to send it sailing into the goal, putting the Tigers on the board and tying the game. This goal was followed up by a second from Zaragoza after a penalty kick.
“No surprise we were once again led by our most veteran players. Alberto Zaragoza had two goals (including the game winner) and an assist,” Burgess said. “Kevin Helt added an assist while center-back Christian Randazzo and goalkeeper Jack Snider held down the defense.”
With two goals in their pockets, the Tigers fought harder for more. They continued to push the Terriers, causing their opponents to score on themselves 61 minutes into the game and putting the game out of reach.
The final two goals for the Tigers were scored by Mitch Burns, ’22, who managed to sneak the ball past the Terrier goalie in the 70th minute of playing time, with an assist from Zaragoza, and again in the 86th minute, rounding out the Tiger scoring.
“It was also nice to be able to get playing time for most of the guys on our roster including about 25 underclassmen,” Burgess stated. “Mitch Burns, a freshman, netting two goals was a particular highlight. In the end, the most important piece is that we’ve continued moving forward in our rebuilding process. We won 7 games which is the most for Wittenberg men’s soccer in a decade. We had a winning record in non-Conference play and more than doubled the total number of victories we had just two years ago.”
The Tigers concluded their 2018 season 7-10-1 and were 2-6-1 in conference play. The team averaged 11 shots per game. The Tigers scored 25 total goals this season.
“With the loss of a great senior class we definitely have some holes to fill moving forward,” Burgess said. “But our returning group of players offer experience and depth, so if we successfully attract another quality recruiting class, we should be able to continue our growth.”
“With the loss of a great senior class we definitely have some holes to fill moving forward,” Burgess stated. “But our returning group of players offer experience and depth, so if we successfully attract another quality recruiting class, we should be able to continue our growth.”