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Men’s Soccer season off to a rough start

Jacob+Krupp+congratulates+Desmond+Dolphy+on+a+well-played+half+as+they+walk+off+the+field+and+into+the+locker+room.
Jacob Krupp congratulates Desmond Dolphy on a well-played half as they walk off the field and into the locker room.

Jacob Krupp congratulates Desmond Dolphy on a well-played half as they walk off the field and into the locker room.

Billiken Athletics

Billiken Athletics

Jacob Krupp congratulates Desmond Dolphy on a well-played half as they walk off the field and into the locker room.

Bobby Stilwell, Sports Editor

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SLU Men’s Soccer has started off the season rough, going 1-1-1 in their exhibition series, followed by a 0-3 run over its first three games, all at home.

SLU fell 3-0 to UMKC in the exhibition opener on Sat. Aug. 12 at Hermann Stadium. UMKC found the net three times in the first half, and stopped three shots by the Billikens in the second half. The Billikens played all available players, changing lineups after halftime.

The next Monday, Aug. 14, SLU hosted St. Louis Community College for the second exhibition game. Junior forward Anthony Brown and sophomore forward Leo Novaes scored early in the first half to put the Billikens up 2-0 early. STLCC scored off a PK later in the first to cut the SLU lead to 2-1 at the half.

Redshirt junior forward Desmond Dolphy finished a feed from senior midfielder Patick Sarr for a third SLU goal early in the second half, but STLCC struck back with a goal of their own. A pair of goals by redshirt freshman Spencer Jones propelled the Billikens to the 5-2 win.

On Sat., Aug. 19, SLU hosted Kentucky for the final exhibition game, drawing with the Wildcats. Senior goalkeeper Sascha Otte played all 90 minutes, stopping two shots. Since this was exhibition play, both teams agreed to skip overtime in this game.

SLU opened the season on Fri., Aug. 25 hosting Syracuse for one of the most anticipated games this year. The Class of 2021 was in attendance, decked out in blue and white for the annual spirit competition as part of Fall Welcome. Neither team was able to find the net in the first half, with SLU stopping two Syracuse shots. Halftime entertainment was provided by the Class of 2021’s Rock, Paper, Scissors tourney, with a lot of excitement still to come.

Midway through the second half, junior forward Jacob Krupp scored off a feed from Jones, putting SLU up 1-0. However, this was short-lived, as Syracuse scored twice, with the golden goal coming halfway through the first OT period.

Despite the loss, head coach Mike McGinty thought there was still some good moves by the team. “It’s not the result we wanted, but a number of really positive things we can take forward to Sunday [vs. Michigan State].”

SLU next hosted Michigan State on Sun., Aug. 27. SLU again fell, this time 2-0 to the Spartans. Neither team was able to break a stalemate throughout the first half and the first 20 minutes of the second half, until Michigan State found a hole to go up 1-0. A second Michigan State goal, again late in the game, solidified the Billiken defeat.

While it seemed that the players were playing hard the whole game, McGinty saw it differently: “We were too causal and passive until we went down a goal. Then we had people come to life. [Syracuse] was a competitive game all the way, but that took a lot out of us today.”

SLU’s final game of the opening series was on Sat., Sep. 2, with Wake Forest coming to town. The Billikens again lost, 4-1. Wake Forecast scored three times in the first half with SLU only managing one goal late in the second half.

SLU Men’s Soccer next travels to Marquette Sat., Sep. 9. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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Men’s Soccer season off to a rough start