Individual Mistakes, Early Deficit Cost Men’s Soccer

Submitted by: Jordan Wyatt - August 31st, 2013

 

WM_PRIM_FC_A_RGBBy Jordan Wyatt

August 31, 2013

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) Westmont Men’s Soccer (0-1-0) tasted defeat in its first official game of the season Saturday as the Warriors fell to the Stags of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (1-0-0), 3-1.

On a hot afternoon at Thorrington Field, Westmont found themselves trailing just five minutes into the game after Stags’ midfielder Mehron Abdi netted a header off of a throw-in by defender Daniel Beer. Westmont head coach Dave Wolf expressed that Abdi’s early goal, along with the heat, created an enormous hurdle that the Warriors would fail to overcome.

“Conceding the early goal was going to make it a long day. From the start, we were in an immediate fight-back position. It was a warm day, so our physical exertion had to go up, which made it even more difficult to rally back.” Nonetheless, Wolf did praise his team when it came to their tenacity and dedication to keep up the fight and not back down after the early setback.

“Even when a comeback didn’t look likely, there was still a lot of fight in the team. I was very encouraged by that.” This collective will to claw back manifested many scoring opportunities, especially in the second half. One such chance spawned Westmont’s only goal of the match. In the 63rd minute, Nana Ayken broke down four CMS defenders in route to a goal that he buried in the right corner of the net from eight yards out.

Westmont had similar opportunities in the 59th, 68th, and 71st minutes, but none would come to fruition. Ultimately, a third goal by Stags’ midfielder Michael Crowley – a converted header from two yards out off of a deflected corner – would put the game out of reach.

Individual tribute was given by Wolf to five members of the team for their in game efforts – forwards Nana Akyen and Cody Howen, midfielder Tanner Wolf, as well as defenders Muhammad Mehai and Isaac Venstra. However, individual mistakes by the Warriors cost the team in the end.

“When you play in your home opener, and you want so badly to do well and get the season off to a good start, and you lose while taking a couple of shots to the gut, that’s overall how the day feels,” said Coach Wolf.

Even though the day didn’t go as planned, you would have never noticed negative emotions from the players based on the encouragement coming from the sidelines. Wolf affirmed this by exclaiming, “I actually thought the guys on the bench were great. Just their talk, encouragement, and support was really good, even when we were struggling and behind.”

This is a team comprised of individuals who care about each other. The chemistry is there, now players have to perform individually as well. Wolf recognized this by stating, “There were individual passing errors, marking errors, and individual mistakes overall. I think that individual mistakes were the feature of the day. Digging ourselves into an early hole, coupled with some of the individual mistakes, really did us in.”

Westmont will try to curtail these errors in their next game against Whittier. That game is a home game with a set kick-off time of 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 7.