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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

GAME DAY: Men’s soccer ties 1-1 against DBU in intense game

Freshman+right+back+Cason+Berg+pressures+DBU+for+possession.
Anna Pratts / Hilltop Views
Freshman right back Cason Berg pressures DBU for possession.

Under drizzle and dark clouds, St. Edward’s men’s soccer faced the Dallas Baptist University Patriots, coming to a 1-1 draw after a thrilling, emotional and intense match on Oct. 11.

Without two of its most experienced players — graduate students Kellen Gullion and captain Jason Lyons, both out due to injuries — the Hilltoppers showcased their talented young core with freshman goalkeeper Kaleo Francis and freshman center back Timmy Hollenbeck. Both were fierce and aggressive in the defensive end next to freshman center back Easton Jones, who played his first full 90 minutes, and junior Irvin Abarca. Junior midfielder Carlos Huato stepped in as captain.

“It’s definitely a privilege to lead this wonderful team,” Huato said.

Both teams were extremely physical since the first whistle blow, coming to a total of 17 fouls in the first half. The aggressiveness on the Hilltopper defensive end, with Hollenbeck and Abarca protecting the box, made it nearly impossible for the Patriots to create chances to score. 

Communication on the midfield was stellar, allowing precise passes between Martin Tellez, Shunji Watanabe and Jommar Reyes, who managed to get to the Patriot’s box, but were unable to follow through. The first 45 minutes came to a scoreless end.

In the second half, possession was heavily dominated by the Hilltoppers, but the speed and high energy on both ends created constant and intense ball disputes.

With 12 minutes left on the clock, the ball left Reyes’ feet with precision and met freshman forward Vicente Alvarez, leading to a goal in between Patriots defenders. The entire team hugged the freshman and fans rose from their seats cheering and clapping in joy. 

“The feeling was surreal, but it has to become normal to score,” Alvarez said. “It wasn’t just my goal, it was a team effort. I’ve never felt that before, it was really beautiful.”

Hilltoppers kept momentum and the ball on their attacking side, leading to a long shot that went above the goal post by freshman forward Bartek Zabek. 

The last five minutes left the crowd at the edge of their seats, especially after a yellow card was given to Watanabe. The foul allowed DBU to capitalize, making the net shake with three minutes left. The final whistle sounded shortly after, bringing the game to a 1-1 draw.

“We’ve improved a lot this year,” head coach Brian Young said. “We’re hungry for our first win.”

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About the Contributor
Anna Pratts, Sports Editor
Anna Pratts is a sophomore from Brazil and majoring in Writing and Rhetoric with a concentration in journalism and digital media and minoring in Global Studies. This is her second year writing for Hilltop Views and her first semester as Sports Editor. She loves writing about sports, especially soccer and basketball, but she is looking forward to exploring other areas and growing as a writer.

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