Despite coming off a season in which they went 0-9 in their conference, Ursinus’ men’s soccer team began this season hot on Saturday, August 31st with a 5-0 win against the Lions of Albright College. Although it was a non-conference game, this big win suggests that the upcoming conference season might be better for the team than previous ones. Led by three-time captain and now senior Colin Klingman, Ursinus College is looking to take its first conference win since 2014, when they won 3-2 against McDaniel College.
The Albright performance was a dominating one, with two goals in the first half and three in the second. Klingman, a defender, was responsible for two of the goals, which he scored on penalty shots in the thirty-sixth and sixty-second minutes.
Additionally, four sophomores, forward Aiden Cooper, midfielders Kevin Devlin and Aidan O’Malley, as well as goalkeeper Tyler Lewin, all had big roles to play in the win. Devlin and O’Malley each scored goals in the game, the first of their collegiate careers. O’Malley’s goal in the seventeenth minute was assisted by junior midfielder Alexis Ayala, while Devlin’s goal in the seventy-first minute went unassisted.
Cooper’s goal in the fifty-sixth minute was assisted by senior defender Rocco Mesoraca. In his first game for Ursinus since transferring from Ithaca College for this new school year, goalkeeper Lewin blocked five shots at the goal (of eight taken overall), shutting out the Lions.
Experienced players and rookies meshed together seamlessly to give Ursinus almost a 57 percent shot accuracy, with nine of their 16 shots aimed on-net in the first half alone. Although there were fewer shots in the second half of the game (only eleven with six on-net), the team fared well with an approximately 55 percent shot accuracy.
With such young, impressive talent on this team, there seems to be an extremely solid foundation on which the future of the program can be built.
Although a preseason poll projected the team would come in tenth, and last, place this season (a projection that is based on the 0-9 run that they had in the 2018 season), this season-starting win leaves both the team and their fans hopeful for their first conference game on Saturday, September 21st against McDaniel College.