Men’s Soccer | Photo by Bethany Althauser | The Wright State Guardian
After winning two of its last three matches, the Wright State University men’s soccer team returned home for a non-conference showdown with the Broncos of Western Michigan University.
The Raiders entered Tuesday’s match with an overall record of 2-3-3, and the Broncos carried a 5-1-2 record.
The two teams had previously met 13 times, with the Raiders winning seven of those matches. The most recent meeting between the two clubs came last season when WMU defeated the Raiders by a final score of 2-0. The Broncos also entered Tuesday night having won four of its last five meetings with WSU.
The match got off to a slow start for the Raiders. The Broncos were able to find early success on offense, creating shots despite them not being on target.
In the 25th minute, WMU earned a corner kick. As the ball was crossed in, Dylan Sing scored his sixth goal of the season for the Broncos, as his header snuck under the crossbar and was out of reach for WSU’s goalkeeper, Alessandro Malterer.
Heading into halftime, WMU outshot the Raiders 13-1, leading 1-0 at the break. A huge factor in the Broncos’ success were its set pieces. WMU had five corner kicks while the Raiders failed to find one.
As the second half got underway, WSU played very aggressively and managed to find more success on offense. In the final 45 minutes of play, the Raiders drew even with WMU in having six shots on offense.
In the second half, things got chippy between the two teams, as seven cards were assessed between both sides, including two red cards.
In the 81st minute of play, Felix Ezekwuka received a red card after getting kicked in the groin area and shoving the opposing player into the turf. Both players involved were ejected, leaving both teams with 10 on the field.
“Composure to me is calmness under stress, soccer is stress,” Head Coach Alex Van der Sluijs said. “How do we remain calm under stress? I think it is having a clear identity of who we want to be as men. You have to be in stress to know how to handle stress.”
As the game drew to a close, the Raiders found themselves scoreless for the third time of the season.
Despite giving up that first-half goal, Malterer had a productive match, as he held the Broncos to one goal on 19 total shots, three of which were on goal. Malterer recorded two saves on the night.
“Set pieces are always tough. Little moments like that can be the difference in the game,” Malterer stated following the loss.
The Broncos had a dozen corner kicks on the night, posing a threat to the Raiders on several occasions. WSU salvaged three corners of their own.
Despite going scoreless in the evening, senior Reece Allbaugh led the Raiders on offense with four total shots, two of which were on target, managing to keep things interesting down the stretch and give his team an opportunity to prevail.
“Any little thing can change the game,” Allbaugh mentioned. “We just have to find the small things that make a difference in the game and build off of that.”
The Raiders now move on to 2-4-3 this season. WSU will travel to Green Bay on Saturday before returning home to host Robert Morris on Oct. 7.