October 23, 2017

Men’s soccer falls to rival Fontbonne, makes conference tournament

Webster University’s men’s soccer team faced off against rival Fontbonne University on Saturday Oct. 22 but fell short, losing 3-0.  

The Gorloks kept the first half scoreless, but Fontbonne scored a goal midway through the second half to break the tie.The Griffins added two more goals late in the game.

Head coach Mike Seiner said that the Gorloks played well in the first half, but had a breakdown in the second. Seiner credited Fontbonne for taking advantage of their opportunities.

“It was pretty even early,” Seiner said. “Both teams looked like they were trying to figure each other out. We had two or three chances in the first half by their goal. You have to put one of those in.”

The team was fighting for a tournament spot in the last week of the regular season with games against Spalding University, Blackburn College and Eureka College.

The Gorloks held onto fourth place in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) conference with two games remaining against Blackburn College and Eureka College. With a 6-3 conference record, Webster finished ahead of Blackburn for the final spot in the conference tournament.

The Gorloks lost two games in a row to Fontbonne and Spalding University, but Seiner said that the team could still regroup for a spot in the conference tournament.

“I told our guys we have a week left,” Seiner said. “They can decide how their season is defined.”

Freshman goalkeeper Kyle Hertel said the team could bounce back.

“We aren’t done,” Hertel said. “We will continue to work hard for the rest of the season and see where it takes us.”

Hertel got a majority of the playing time at goalkeeper, playing in 10 out of 15 games this season. He is second in the conference in goals against average, and has twice won conference defensive player of the week this season.

Leading scorer Zach Gyuricza suffered a head injury in Saturday’s game against Fontbonne after being struck by a ball right under the eye. Seiner said he did not think it was serious, but he was held out of Tuesday’s game against Spalding and played in the game against Eureka.

Scoring has been down, as the Gorloks have been shut out in their two losses down the stretch.

Forward Alex Whalen said the team has trouble keeping possession in the opponent’s zone and that the team is working on some new passing patterns.

“We have talented attacking players,” Whalen said. “If we incorporate the passing patterns we have been working on in training and execute our movements, the goals will certainly come.”

The Gorloks picked up the scoring, scoring eight goals in the final two games of the season.

Hertel said the team has not been playing badly, but they have not tested the opposition’s goalkeeper enough.

“The key to success, in my eyes, has been when we don’t rush the play in the game,” Hertel said. “We work the ball around as one solid unit. The entire team moving as one to get the ball up the field and into the net.”

Whalen said the team plays for each other and the coaching staff. He said the squad has a family feel that gives the team incentive to train and play hard.

“We know what we must do in order to succeed,” Whalen said. “Each player is aware of their role on the pitch. If we go into these final games with the correct mindset, I am confident that we will get the W.”

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