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Men’s Soccer off to Strong Start

On Aug. 30, the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) released their Pre-Season Coaches Poll for men’s soccer. All of the eight CAC coaches vote as to which order they expect their opponents to finish the year in. After posting an 11 win campaign in 2017, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) men’s soccer program was picked to finish in third place. SMCM rounded out the poll with two first place votes, according to SMCM Athletics.

The Seahawks opened their 2018 regular season on Aug. 31 with a match against Moravian College (PA). This was their first of two games in the Elmer Lord Memorial Classic, hosted at Salisbury University. Despite tallying twelve shots in the first half, the Seahawks failed to score as the game entered the half tied at 0-0. Right before the end of the first half, thunder and lightning caused the game to be delayed almost three hours, according to SMCM Athletics. After play resumed, junior Khalid Balogun scored a goal on a free kick to put SMCM up 1-0. However, Moravian scored on a free kick of their own with just ten minutes left to play. This would be all of the scoring for the day, with the two teams tying at 1-1, according to SMCM Athletics.

Game two of the Elmer Lord Memorial Classic took place the next day for SMCM. This time facing Hobart College (NY), the Seahawks again had a very close game. In fact after regulation and two overtime periods, neither team had scored, so once again SMCM ended with a draw. They did however outshoot Hobart 19-16 and had more corner kicks (7-5), according to SMCM Athletics.

The Seahawks then proceeded to travel to Washington College for their third game on the year. With two draws under their belts, they looked to remain undefeated. SMCM went on to get their first win of the year, blanking Washington College 3-0. Goals were scored by junior Josh McRobie, sophomore Isaac Ekobo, and junior Khalid Balogun, according to smcmathletics.com. After this victory, SMCM went on to capture three straight wins at home against Virginia Wesleyan University (Sept. 8), Bridgewater College (Sept. 9), and Randolph-Macon College (Sept. 12).  

The match against Virginia Wesleyan was by far the most exciting game of the season so far. The Seahawks fell behind 2-0 in the second half, but did not back down at all. Balogun scored two goals in the final five minutes of play, propelling SMCM to overtime. Ekobo then put away his third career game winning goal to give the Seahawks a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory, according to SMCM Athletics.

Due to inclement weather, SMCM had their Sept. 15 match against Stevenson University cancelled indefinitely. The Seahawks will now travel to Swarthmore College on Sept. 19 for their next matchup.

The Seahawks are led by seniors Josh Akwara (defense), Pascal Iraola (defense), Juwan Kearson (midfielder), and Aaron Tanenbaum (midfielder). Head coach Alun Oliver is now in his eighth season at the helm of the Seahawks.

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