Men’s Soccer Battles Holy Cross to a Draw

Evan Xenopoulos

The men’s soccer team looked to use the momentum gained from last week’s 1-0 victory over Vermont when it played Patriot League rival Holy Cross last Saturday in Worcester. Led by senior captain Dan Belke, junior goalie David Cappuccio and junior central defensive midfielder Glenn Volk, Head Coach Erik Ronning’s tenacious defense shined, but the Raiders failed to muster a goal in a 0-0 tie. Still, credit must be given all around as the team has truly embraced Coach Ronning’s successful defensive strategy.

From the start of the match, it was evident that both teams would not give the other squad too many chances to score, evidenced by the fact that each team only mustered three shots in the first half. Both teams continued to press in the second half and with few chances and strong defensive play, the match went into overtime. With Cappuccio playing at top form and Holy Cross’ defense staying strong, the game ended in a 0-0 tie. The shutout against Holy Cross was Cappuccio’s fifth of the season and the 12th of his career.

Coach Ronning gave his thoughts on Colgate’s Patriot League opener.

“We defended well and we definitely needed to attack better,” he said. “There are not many golden opportunities in a league game and our attack needs to start finishing the chances we get. Our defense has been excellent only letting up three goals in our last seven games, but we need our offense to be more composed and finish some chances.”

The tie was not the result the Raiders wanted, but Colgate should be impressed with its outstanding defensive play over the last seven matches, as they have only permitted three goals in that span.

Coach Ronning wanted a victory, but he refuses to let the result affect the team as he prepares them for Army this weekend.

“Army is a very experienced team with seven starting seniors and two starting juniors. They have a 6-2-2 record and it is going to be a tough challenge. There are no blowouts in league games and all these games are going to come down to one play. We will be prepared for Saturday night and we are going to need to perform if we want to win.”

The Raiders are 3-0-1 at home this season, but they will need to bring their A-game if they are to beat Army. The Raiders defense is in prime midseason form and if the offense can match the defense, Colgate will be a force to be reckoned with at season’s end.