Despite a close 1-0 victory over Marymount University on Oct. 22 that left the Seahawks one win short of the playoff ticket, the men’s soccer team took a 3-0 loss during a home-game against Salisbury University that ended the team’s conference-competitive season.
The season began strongly for the men’s team with a 2-1 win over Eastern Mennonite University on Sept. 3, a 4-0 shutout against Penn State Altoona the following day, and two more victories (including a 3-0 shutout) that brought the team to a 4-0 standing one game short of the conference season.
However, following a close 2-1 loss to the Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays, the team suffered two additional losses (including a 3-1 conference loss to Frostburg State University), bringing the team to 4-3 overall and 0-1 conference. Despite scraping a 1-0 conference win against Hood College on Sept. 24, the team suffered losses the following three games and took a 2-0 shutout loss to York College on Oct. 8.
With a 1-3 conference spread and 5-7 overall, it was looking grim for the Seahawks until an uplifting 3-0 shutout on Oct. 11 against the University of Mary Washington, a home conference game that brought the Seahawks closer to playoff competition. Senior forward Mark Jaskolski netted a goal with assistance from junior midfielder Frank VanGessel. After halftime, senior midfielder Brian Payne and first-year forward Matthew Braun secured two additional points to lead the Seahawks to their first win against the Eagles since 1981.
Despite their performance, the Seahawks took a 2-1 loss to the Wesley College Wolverines four days later. Even while securing a 1-0 victory against Marymount the following week, St. Mary’s needed to defeat Salisbury to get into the playoff season.
The Sea Gulls took a strong offensive in the first half with 10 goal attempts, all deflected by the seemingly driven Seahawks defense. Despite the strong performance and an equally solid defense following the second half up to minute 54, Salisbury managed three scores in the following 16 minutes, sealing the Seahawks’ fate with a 3-0 shutout on Oct. 24.
Seventh in the conference, men’s soccer finished the season with a 4-1 loss to Catholic University, leading to an overall 7-10 season and 3-5 conference spread. The conclusion also marked the first completed season for new head coach Alun Oliver ’04, who joined the Seahawks following former coach Herb Gainey’s retirement.
“Going into the season, everyone was excited for the fresh start with a new head coach,” said Assistant Coach Peter Krech ’09. “Our final record was not what we had hoped it would be, but to be honest, I thought there were a lot of good things that heppened throughout the season.”
Men’s soccer will be back next fall to take on the CAC Championship with stronger determination.
“Our seniors will definitely be missed for their contributions both on and off the field,” said Krech, “but I believe that we have a great young core to build from…they are up for the challenge that lies ahead of them.”