The shots poured in as the rain poured down at the Webster University men’s soccer game against Lindenwood University-Belleville.
The season opener for Webster brought out a 2-0 victory over the Lynx on Saturday, Sept. 1. In a full team effort by the Gorloks, 22 different players were substituted throughout the 90 minutes of play.
“I think each and every player has stepped up to try to make themselves and everyone else a better player,” Webster coach Marty Todt said. “They have really come out each day and put their best effort forth, and it showed.”
Even with those different players stepping onto the field, Todt seems to have figured out who has the best chemistry together. Senior forward Clint Carder said he has noticed a difference in this team’s ability to play together compared to Webster teams the past two seasons.
“Every time someone needed a break, we were able to fill their spot and not go down a level in play,” Carder said. “We are really close this year and that is something we haven’t had since I’ve been here.”
Newcomers to the team are already in tune with the rest of the group as sophomore midfielder Mike Wells scored his first collegiate goal in his first regular season game as a Gorlok.
During Wells’s freshman year, he was on the Greenville College team that beat Webster twice last season. He played high school soccer with five current Gorloks at McCluer North High School in St. Louis which pushed him to transfer to Webster.
Wells’s goal came 63 minutes into the game, just after he was brought in off the bench. Earlier in the game he was playing on a wing and was given a yellow card after tripping a Lindenwood-Belleville player. Todt decided to move him to a center-midfield role in the second half. While he was playing that new position, he headed home his goal off a corner kick from senior midfielder Agustin Villalba.
The Gorloks were seeking revenge in this match after last season’s 4-0 loss at Lindenwood-Belleville.
“They definitely out worked us last year,” Carder said. “We just took it to them this time.”
Carder tacked on an insurance goal in the 72nd minute. He headed his goal with the assist coming from senior midfielder Kyle Leonard’s long throw in. Carder has been the team leader in points, goals and shots the past two seasons.
With the first win under their belt, the next task is taking on the preseason No. 15-ranked Division III men’s soccer team, Loras College (Iowa), as ranked by the NCAA.
Todt remembers seeing Loras in the NCAA Tournament three seasons ago and how the Duhawks attacked using three defenders and an extra midfield player. Loras quickly went up 2-0 in the first half and finished on top 3-0. But this time, Todt said his team is better prepared to make the game much more interesting.
“We want to be methodical now and keep working on what we did well and bring it each and every day,” Todt said. “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The game against Loras is scheduled for 1 p.m. at St. Louis Soccer Park on Saturday, Sept. 8. The Gorloks take on Rhodes College the next day at 11 a.m. at Soccer Park.