The Webster University men’s soccer team has struggled all season long to score goals. This past week was no different, as the Gorloks scored a total of only one goal in three home games.
Video by Sam Masterson
Webster lost 1-0 to Greenville College, on Oct. 19 and 1-0 to Westminster College on Oct. 25. The Gorloks managed a 1-1 tie with Principia on Oct. 22. All three St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contests were played at the Soccer Park.
“That’s been our nemesis all year,” coach Marty Todt said. “We have dominated several games this year, but because we couldn’t score, we came up short. But that’s soccer sometimes.”
Junior forward Clint Carder led the Gorloks in goals last season with 15.This year, Carder has been mostly shut down, as he’s scored just five goals.
“Teams have definitely stepped up the defense on me,” Carder said. “I’ve been trying to get out of the play so other people can step up, but no one has stepped up yet.”
Todt said teams are putting their best defender on Carder. They’re also routinely double-teaming him, making it difficult for Carder to get free.
“It’s been hard to handle,“ Carder said. “It sucks we lost Pat, because he was able to take some pressure off me.”
Carder was referring to sophomore forward Pat McCaffery, who has scored five goals this season. But last week, he went down with a high ankle sprain and is out for the regular season.
Against Greenville College, the Gorloks controlled the action for almost the entire contest, but one Panther goal before halftime was enough, as Webster was shut out. The Gorloks had 10 corner kicks and nine shots on goal, but were unable to take advantage of their chances.
The Principia game was marred by rough play and mistakes by both squads. A total of 29 fouls were called in the contest, including 19 on Principia.
“I wanted the guy in the middle to do something, but once the flow of the game gets going like that, it’s hard to stop,” Todt said. “You can’t call a timeout like you can in basketball.”
Webster controlled the action and outshot the Panthers 16-7, but the Gorloks could not find the back of the net more than once. After falling behind 1-0, the Gorloks scored their lone goal when sophomore midfielder Korey Gauvain scored in the final minutes of regulation time to salvage a tie.
With just 15 seconds remaining in regulation, Webster senior goalkeeper Alex Cupp made a critical mistake when he was shown a red card. Before Cupp’s ejection, the Gorloks had a man advantage because of an earlier red card on Principia.
“We have to play our game and stop making all these mistakes,” Carder said. “The red card at the end of the game was stupid. We had an advantage and it was taken away by a stupid play.”
Cupp was upset when he was run into by Principia players on two different occasions.
“I lost my cool because there was no call by the ref,” Cupp said. “I absolutely let my team down.”
The Westminster game was senior night but that made no difference, as Webster was shut out for the seventh time this season. It was not a festive evening as the Gorloks were frustrated once again by an inability to score. In the second half, Todt mixed things up when he moved junior defender Josh Sellmeyer into the midfield to try to create some scoring opportunities.
“I intended to move Sellmeyer up more at the beginning of the year to create opportunities, but he is so valuable in the back on defense it was hard to do,” Todt said. “I wanted to get him up in the offense because of his athleticism. He can create opportunities for scoring.”
The losses drops the Gorloks to 3-3-1 in the SLIAC and 6-8-2 overall. Webster concludes their regular season with a must-win game at Blackburn College on Oct. 29.
The losses make it difficult for the Gorloks to qualify for the conference tournament. Webster must finish in the top four of the conference to play in the postseason. To have a chance at that, Webster needs Blackburn to lose or tie to Fontbonne this week. The Gorloks will then have to defeat Blackburn to move into fourth place in the SLIAC.