November 19, 2017

Men’s Soccer Streak Broken, But Team Spirit is NoT

Sammy Wilson ‘17 goes for the goal. Photo by Paul Crookston
Sammy Wilson ‘17 goes for the goal. Photo by Paul Crookston
Sammy Wilson ‘17 goes for the goal.
Photo by Paul Crookston

Gordon Men’s Soccer landed just outside of the top 25 in this week’s NSCAA Division III rankings, marking their highest ranking of the season.

The Fighting Scots received five votes, putting them just outside the top 25. The latest poll, available on the NCAA website, follows a string of dominating performances, including two consecutive 7-0 wins over Salem State and Eastern Nazarene. At the poll’s release, Gordon was riding a nine-match unbeaten streak, including five consecutive shutouts.

A 2-1 loss on Tuesday, Oct. 11 against Rhode Island College ended the streak. Gordon conceded early, as a quick cross flashed across goal and was nodded in at the far post. The deficit doubled at the start of the second half, but a quick response got the Scots back in the game.

Caleb Cole’s ‘17 corner kick was headed down by Josh Beveridge ’19 and finished off by the waiting Ben Gradert ’18. Trailing by one, the Scots could only muster a few genuine chances and failed to find the equalizer.

Despite the setback, the team is flying on towards the conference tournament. Forward Matt Chartier ‘20 has been a revelation this season, scoring seven goals.

Chartier attributes his success to the team’s system. He said, “The system we play here at Gordon fits my style of play, which is a key reason why I chose Gordon in the first place.”

It helps to have reigning CCC Offensive Player of the Year Cole by his side. Cole leads the CCC in points with 27.

On the defensive side, the team has settled into a groove after a rough start to the season. Keeper Josh Spoonhour ’17 attributes the success to experience.

“The team [is] settling into our system, and becoming more comfortable with pairings and matchups,” Spoonhour said.

The back line has recently morphed into a back five, anchored by Gradert, which allows fullbacks Collin Surface ’19 and Ian Burkhart ’19 to press forward and join the attack.

While scoring goals and holding the ball helps, Spoonhour maintains that the team’s “mission is always the same: shutouts.”  

With the conference tournament approaching, shutouts would certainly be a recipe for success.

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