Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 30, 2016

Soccer Ball



Spartans' Defense Is On the Ball

Maddie Jo Shultz

The men’s soccer team defended its winning streak this week, defeating rival universities Andrews and Finlandia, both from Michigan, and Illinois Tech of Chicago.

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the Spartans crushed the Andrews Cardinals, outscoring them 5-1. With two goals in the first half by sophomore midfielder Ryan Morley and junior midfielder Luke Headings, the team started in a rush and then temporarily let down its guard. “This seems to be a trend if we come out and score quickly,” said head coach Corey Brueggeman, adding that it’s something they are hoping to correct. 

The Spartans still managed to clinch the win in the second half of the game with a team goal by Manchester, another by first-year forward Adrian Mulenga, and a final score by one of the team’s captains, senior midfielder Colin Singer.

On Friday, Sept. 23, the Spartans snatched a seventh win for the season. Underclassmen dominated the game at Good Field with one goal in the first half by Mulenga and another in the second by sophomore midfielder Samuel Tetteh-Quarsie. The Spartans’ defense successfully kept the Finlandia Lions from scoring with a final result of 2-0.

The Spartans faced more challenging opposition against the visiting Scarlet Hawks from Illinois Tech on Sunday, Sept. 25. Ben Niederhelman, a sophomore midfielder, scored two of the team’s goals in the game, with a senior midfielder Ola Ladapo kicking in a third. The game ended in a victory for Manchester with a final score of 3-2, upholding the Spartans’ undefeated record.
Defensively, the team has only conceded six goals in six games, and in Coach Brueggeman’s opinion, this has been a major improvement over the past few years. “We are relatively young with our defenders,” he said. “The first years have done very well to adjust and mesh with our returning players.”
Mulenga, who scored twice this week, said he is honored as a first year to play alongside such talented and hardworking upperclassmen. “I go out and give 110 percent for my team because I respect everybody that’s a part of it,” he said. He humbly added that his goals this week are the product of the team’s efforts rather than just his own. “I may have been able to put the ball in the back of the net,” Mulenga said, “but I wouldn’t have any of my goal-scoring chances without my amazing teammates.”
Brueggeman admits that the Spartans are still trying to sort out some aspects of the game. The players understand how they want to play, he explained, but they sometimes slip into old habits or are unable to execute at the right time. “All in all, we are creating chances and seem to be moving forward,” the coach concluded.
After a healthy string of home games, the Spartans traveled east for its next match-up: they played the Polar Bears at Ohio Northern University on Wednesday, Sept. 28, and then will journey south to battle the Panthers at Hanover College on Saturday, October 1.