Senior midfielder Steve Welles scored an early goal and freshman midfielder Max Fan ended the contest with an overtime score as the UR men’s soccer team, ranked No. 20, took down No. 11 Washington University in St. Louis, 2-1, in a University Athletic Association conference matchup this past Sunday at UR.

“WashU was a big win for us,” head coach Chris Apple said. “We’ve been playing well against really strong competition, but haven’t always been on the right side of the result. Beating a top opponent in a tight match will give us confidence and strength down the stretch.”

Fan scored his game-winning goal just 1:15 into the overtime period, when he took a shot from about 12 yards out off a throw-in by junior defender Tom Sorrentino. Fan’s shot snuck just underneath the crossbar for what was the first goal of his collegiate soccer career.

“For me, scoring the first goal of my college career in that situation is really special,” Fan said. “It was our first win in four games, so it was a big lift for the team because we had been struggling a bit lately. This win is definitely going to push us in the right direction heading in to the rest of the season.”

The Yellowjackets took an early lead on one of their first shots of the game when Welles scored in the 20th minute. On the play, junior midfielder Josh Richards sent a cross to the left post to Welles, who headed the ball past WashU goalie Andrew Serio.

“Getting service into the box is a main part of our attack so I expected Josh to serve it to me,” Welles said, whose goal was his second of the season. “Striking first against an opponent like WashU is always key because it sets the tone in your favor since you’re not just playing catch up for 90 minutes. As a team, we really needed to prove to ourselves that we could play with any team in the country and I think we did that on Sunday.”

UR was unable to hold on to their first half lead for long, however, as the Bears responded with a goal of their own in the 23rd minute off the foot of forward Kenji Kobayashi. A ball was sent to Kobayashi at the top of the box, and he put a perfectly placed shot just over the hands of UR freshman goalkeeper Mike Moranz to tie up the score, 1-1.

“I was upset that we conceded a goal so quickly after scoring one, but I was proud of the way the boys kept their resolve and kept playing hard,” Apple said. “It would have been easy to drop our heads at that point, but the boys rallied each other and kept going.”

With the loss, WashU falls to 10-1-3 (2-1-1 UAA) on the season and drops down to second place in the conference behind New York University, who is currently 8-2-3 (2-0-2 UAA). The defeat was the first time all year that the Bears gave up more than one goal in a match.

With the win, the ’Jackets improve to 7-1-5 (1-1-2 UAA). UR is currently tied for third place in the UAA with Emory University, who is also 1-1-2 in the conference standings.

Mulberg is a member of the class of 2014

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