M. Soccer loses weekend matches against Wesleyan and Bowdoin

Colby Men’s Soccer took on Wesleyan University and Bowdoin College this weekend in a duo of important NESCAC tests this past weekend. Coming off of a dramatic overtime win against Maine Maritime Academy on Tuesday, the Mules rode into the weekend in search of a second league victory.

On a beautiful fall day, Colby took the field against Wesleyan. The Cardinals struck first, scoring in the eighth minute. Colby rallied however, and Jansen Aoyama ’19 tied the game in the 24th minute. The game would remain 1-1 through half-time.

Colby came out firing in the second half, with an excellent cross into the box that was just hit over the crossbar by Lucas Pereira ’19. The Mules pressured well, but despite controlling play and possession, they were unable to break through the Wesleyan back line. David Howarth ’19 was responsible for excellent play through the middle, using his speed and agility to set up the wings and to defend when needed. Kyle Douglas ’19 had a solid shot on goal in the 60th minute, but a save from the Wesleyan goalkeeper E kept the ball out of the net. The Cardinals were finally able to break down an otherwise strong Colby defense in the 75th minute, when Wesleyan junior Adam Cowie-Haskell nailed a low drive into the bottom left corner. He struck again only a minute later, this time scoring with a powerful header off of a corner kick. Colby pressured hard but with only ten minutes to go, they were unable to convert any remaining chances. The game ended in a 3-1 Wesleyan win.

Sunday’s game provided a second opportunity for the Mules, facing Maine rival Bowdoin College. Rainy conditions certainly affected the flow of the game, as the ball skipped across the grass. Though Bowdoin dominated possession for the majority of the first half, Colby did not shy away from creating chances. Both Jacob Tower ’19 and Douglas had close scoring opportunities in the first 15 minutes, but were unable to finish their shots. After several heart-stopping saves off the Colby goal line, the Mules were finally able to settle into a defensive rhythm, with Chandler Smith ’18 leading the way.

In the beginning of the second half, Bowdoin struck, with a well-placed shot from the top of the box. The goal injected energy into the Polar Bear’s play, and they scored again nine minutes later, after an unlucky deflection landed the ball at the feet of a Bowdoin forward. Colby responderd aggressively after the second goal, and two Mules received yellow cards for careless tackles. Colby worked in several subs after the goals, and created two excellent scoring chances that were both saved by the Bowdoin goalkeeper.

On the other end of the field, Mules keeper Avery Gibson ’20, held strong in net for the remainder of the game. He made several key saves, including a diving block from a Bowdoin free kick in minute 70. Ultimately, the Mules fell in a 2-0 loss.

The final outcome of these games certainly does not reflect the quality of play produced by the Mules this weekend. Against both teams, Colby created and defended well, succumbing only to occasional moments of miscommunications and bad luck. Colby takes on University of New England this week and will look to move forward from a disappointing weekend. With only four games remaining in the 2016 season, the Mules will need to remain focused and disciplined to find success.

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