Men’s Soccer Sails Past La Salle, Falls to Syracuse to Kick Off Season

Bethany Blass, Assistant Sports Editor

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The men’s soccer team rang in opening weekend on Aug. 28 with a 4-2 victory over La Salle, drawing a crowd of over 1,300 spirited fans. Sebastiaan Blickman ’17 and Chris Thorsheim ’16 had big contributions to the game, each finishing with a goal and an assist. The Bison turned around to face Syracuse on Aug. 30, and fell short 1-0 after a well-fought battle sent them into overtime.

“Winning the Patriot League tournament a year ago places a target on our backs. To our non-conference opponents, it is a sign that we are a championship level team; and to our Patriot League opponents, last year’s championship is a constant reminder of who the team to beat in the conference is,” goalkeeper Clarke Fox ’16 said.

“We have a veteran team led by a group of seven seniors who have accomplished quite a bit. It will be a different type of season, since the expectations have increased,” head coach Brendan Nash said. “The veterans are helping the newcomers, and everyone is working to get on the same page. It is tough to get 26 guys on the same page, but we hope to do that through a challenging schedule before we open Patriot League play.”

Just over two minutes into the battle against La Salle, Thorsheim shot a free kick, which was finished off by Blickman with a header for the first goal of 2015 for the Bison. Despite La Salle’s tough defense, the Orange and Blue managed to keep on the pressure. After a goal scored by La Salle, Ben Derleth ’18 made his second career goal just minutes into the second period. Blickman and Andrew Leischner ’17 attempted another goal for the Bison, but the score remained 2-1. In the 67th minute, Adam Bradshaw ’17 knocked in a loose ball to add another goal to the tally. Just minutes later, Justin Galiani ’17 assisted Thorsheim in a goal for the Bison, bringing the score to 4-1. Fox managed to keep La Salle’s scoring to a minimum, and the game ended with a 4-2 victory for the Orange and Blue.

“We’ve gone through a very strenuous preseason, and we’ve gotten through it together. We are all really focusing on being the best team we can be,” Derleth said. 

Mike Lansing ’16 had a busy night in the goal opposing a ranked Syracuse team, finishing the game with nine saves. The Bison had a few unsuccessful chances at scoring, including attempts from Thorsheim and Blickman, as well as Patrick Figgie ’16 and Derleth. With fewer than 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Jack Zollicoffer ’18 and Jesse Klug ’16 had an opportunity to score, but were unsuccessful. After 90 scoreless minutes of regulation, the game was forced into overtime. About four minutes into extra time, Syracuse scored to claim the 1-0 victory.

“Moving forward, I think we really need to improve on tuning in on opposing team restarts,” Thorsheim said. “As for the rigorous non-conference schedule, we’re just taking the games one at a time. It is important to go into the game having the confidence to play with some big time opponents like Xavier and Syracuse.”

The Orange and Blue will be participating in the Mayor’s Cup this weekend, facing Hartwick on Sept. 4 and Northern Kentucky on Sept. 6.

“We feel we have the combination of camaraderie, talent, and leadership to have a memorable year,” Fox said.

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