The Union Men’s Soccer team came into its game against SUNY Canton this past Sunday in a position most of their returning upperclassmen weren’t used to being in. Through their first six games of the season, the Dutchmen had a record of 2-3-1.
In contrast, the team has lost just one game out of the first six games in the past three seasons combined.
When asked about their struggles to open the season, captain Will Poetzch ’15 claims it’s their inability to capitalize on key scoring chances that has hurt them the most.
“We seem to be meshing well with each other and out-playing our opponents, but just can’t seem to score when we need to,” said Poetzch.
The Dutchmen seemed to answer their captain’s call last Sunday, scoring six goals against SUNY Canton and seeming to seize every scoring opportunity that came their way.
Defenseman/Midfielder Kevin Janson ’15 opened the scoring with his first goal of the year, burying a cross from midfielder Andrew Fontaine ’17.
Fontaine also went on to score a phenomenal goal later in the half, and the Dutchmen never seemed to look back from there. Ethan Strauss ’18 and Nolan Altamirano ’18 added to the scoring as well, with sensational finishes. Janson added his second goal of the game with an own-goal by SUNY Canton.
Alex Kirsch ’16 capitalized on his first goal of the season from a great assist by forward Tyler DeWaltoff ’15, capping off an exciting Sunday of soccer for the Dutchmen and improving the team’s record to 3-3-1.
Despite their record, the Dutchmen have a lot to build on, going forward, and must continue to be a confident group.
The team couldn’t have a better core of senior and junior leaders, highlighted by captains Will Poetzch and Sam Hunter ’16, along with Kevin Janson, Jeff Cohen ’16, last season’s leading goal-scorer Carl Faber ’16, Nicholas Hall-Risko ’16, Matt Christal ’16 and three-year starting goalkeeper Ryan Carter ’15.
To complement these highly talented upperclassmen is an exceptionally strong sophomore class featuring impact midfielders Doug Rosa ’17, Ryan Roth ’17, Trevor Pauldine ’17 and Andrew Fontaine ’17, and two of the team’s starting defenders, Mike Kaye ’17 and David Olio ’17.
Coach Guinn also noted that he is very excited about the potential he sees in his first-year class this year, as they have a number of promising rising players.
One of these rising stars has been midfielder Ethan Strauss, who has played exceptionally well so far, posting two goals and one assist. Strauss is currently tied amongst the team leaders for points in the very young season.
Overall, the Union Men’s Soccer team seems to be poised for a break-out at any moment, but still has a lot to prove going forward.
Key home match-ups to look out for as the season progresses are: Liberty League rivals St. Lawrence on October 3 and R.P.I. on October 8.
The Dutchmen faced SUNY New Paltz on Wednesday, September 24, at 7 p.m.
The team’s next home game is the much-anticipated game against St. Lawrence on October 3 at 4 p.m.