In what was undoubtedly the biggest game so far this year, the UR men’s soccer team came through with a decisive 1-0 victory against the ninth-ranked Carnegie Mellon University Tartans. UR now stand at 5-1 in the University Athletic Association and 12-1-2 overall. The ‘Jackets have positioned themselves nicely for the fast-approaching postseason.
The first and only goal came in the 14th minute when senior forward Scott Cady headed the ball past the Tartans goalie from the middle of the box. That proved to be all UR needed, holding Carnegie Mellon off the board.
The goal occurred in the early stages, when UR regained possession with an aim to score. Sophomore midfielder Jake Cargill set up senior defender Phil Proud on the right wing. Proud then passed the ball to the center of the Carnegie Mellon goal box, where Cady timed his header perfectly.
UR looked strong on defense, only allowing one shot on goal. The defense shut down UAA’s top scorer, Carnegie Mellon forward Ricky Griffin with no shots on goal.
Carnegie Mellon senior goalie Maks Khurgin had five saves compared to UR senior goalie Michael Peacock, who was forced to make only one save.
Peacock explained how he and his team mentally prepared for the game.
‘We expect to win every game we play in, so just because [the Tartans] were ranked first in the conference, our mentality going into the game does not change,” he said.
UR kept the pressure on Carnegie Mellon, almost scoring again when junior midfielder Steve Welles passed to senior forward J.J. Dennstedt in the middle of the box. Dennstedt’s shot was too high, ricocheting off the crossbar.
UR held a slight advantage in total shots, 13-11, but held a clear advantage in shots on goal with five more than its counterparts.
With this victory, the Yellowjackets exchanged spots in a National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll with Carnegie Mellon. UR now holds No. 9, up two spots from last week.
The men carried momentum into the Carnegie matchup from their 2-0 victory over Emory University on Friday.
‘I was very pleased with our performances both Friday and Sunday,” head coach Chris Apple said. ‘We played two very strong teams, competed for 90 minutes in both games, defended well and created quality chances. We continue to focus on getting better and doing the little things right.”
With the victory over Emory on Friday, UR is now in a tie for first place with Carnegie Mellon in the UAA standings. UR has an opportunity to finish first in the UAA standings with a win in its final game of the season, which it plays this weekend at Case Western Reserve University on Saturday, Nov. 7.
Manrique is a member of the class of 2012.