The men’s soccer team hosted Carthage College Wednesday night at Stagg Field. Before game time, it appeared the odds favored the Maroons. The Maroons’ winning record (12–1–1) dwarfed that of the opposing team (8–7–0). Furthermore, during warm-ups, it was evident that last Sunday’s loss against Case Western Reserve, the team’s first loss, had made the men hungry. From the start of the game, fans saw this hunger in the defense and physicality of the Maroons. In fact, by the end of the match, both teams had racked up an incredible 28 fouls and five yellow cards.
The Maroons maintained possession for the majority of the first 15 minutes. In this time, fourth-year forward Max Lopez had one successful shot on goal; however, referees were not too quick to give him credit, as they called the Maroons offside, and the goal did not count. The Maroons, however, were not jaded. With their heads held high, Lopez and the team outran Carthage’s defense, creating the opportunity for two more shots on goal. Unfortunately, these shot attempts, much like the majority of Maroon shot attempts on Wednesday, did not find net.
In the remaining 15 minutes of the first half, both teams racked up an impressive 13 fouls. Carthage managed seven consecutive shots on goal; however, due to the diligent work of the Maroon defensive line, all attempts were thwarted. Third-year defender Renato Corghi’s quick reflexes at the end of the half sent the ball flying away from the Maroon goal and back to the midfield.
Coming from the halftime break, the Maroon offensive line maintained control of the ball, shooting the first six shots of the half. Unfortunately, their shots were not placing. To add insult to injury, the referee calls were not playing out in favor of the Maroons. The Maroons were hit with nine offside calls through the entire match. At the 65-minute mark, following a Torchie corner kick, foot connected with ball, and ball with net. Carthage took the lead and held it for the remainder of the match. Carthage took home the win, changing the Maroon record to a still impressive 12–2–1. With just three games left in the regular season, the question became, how will the Maroons make sure that these losses do not continue?
Seeking the answer to this question, I spoke with second-year goalkeeper Aaron Katsimpalis. Though the Maroons did not win in goals, they did beat the visitors in saves, with Katsimpalis totaling five saves and only one goal allowed. Speaking on the game, Katsimpalis said he does not even consider the Carthage goal to be a lowlight. In fact, he told me it was his “highlight.” He added, “We were sloppy on the clearance on a corner and they capitalized.” His optimism about the loss was the same optimism he held regarding the rest of the season. When speaking of the remainder of the season, Katsimpalis wrote that the team “needs to get back to focusing on the details and executing from the start.”
The Maroons will next face NYU at Stagg Field on Friday, October 26, at 5:30 p.m.