Blakelee Steeb | Echo
Last Saturday night was senior night for Taylor men's soccer. With the university being on fall break, the energy usually generated from students was absent. Despite the lack of energy from the stands, the team walked away with a 2-0 victory over league rival Marian.
The Trojans came into the game with a different method than they have for prior games. Their newly found methodology and confidence accompanying it has always been the style the team has strived for.
However, it wasn't until recently they discovered how to execute it. The Trojans have focused on how to possess the ball well and have the patience needed to control the pace of the game.
The patience and gradual progression to the goal proved worthy enough within the first 7 minutes when senior, and Taylor Athlete of the Week, Sam Hardy dribbled past defenders and wrenched the ball into the upper right-hand corner of the goal.
"The goal was a good total team effort," said Hardy. "The patience to keep the ball and not be in a hurry too soon spread out the defense and gave me the fortunate opportunity to be the one guy to get the shot off."
After 45 minutes of play the score remained 1-0. At halftime, the Trojans' confidence was still present, but they craved another goal to seal the win and send the Knights home with dented armor.
The extra insurance goal was tacked on for the Trojans in the 69th minute of the contest. It was scored by freshman Zoltan Suranyi when he pivoted around the Marian defender to rip the ball past three others from 15 yards out.
While most of the game was spent on the offensive side for the Trojans, the defense also played well. Junior goal-keeper Drew Sezonov snatched two saves on the night and recorded his third shutout of the season.
"The toughest part about the Marian game was getting the lead early and keeping it," said senior Wes Shupe. "We have had leads earlier in conference that we gave up, and we wanted to avoid that. Marian is a tough opponent, and there is no easy game."
Taylor completed the shutout and posted a 15-4 edge over MU in shots to seal their 2-0 victory for the special senior night.
Head coach Gary Ross emphasized how important it was to score first. It brought confidence and increased the probability for another goal. This paired with switching the fields gave the Trojans many attacking opportunities they may not have had otherwise.
In the Trojans' most recent game Wednesday night, the team tied Goshen. The Maple Leafs came out strong as they scored in the first minute. Senior Sam Hardy scored a goal in the 77th minute of the game to tie it up.
The game ended after two overtimes, and the Trojans held off a worthy opponent as Goshen sits at 10-3-2.
The Trojans are wrapping up their season very soon and will move on to the conference tournament after their next three games.
The team returns to action tomorrow at Turner Stadium to face their rival Indiana Wesleyan. The Trojans are scheduled to pounce on the Wildcats at 7 p.m.
"Photograph by Brad Timmerman"