The men’s soccer team battled a long, grueling home game Sunday against Patriot League opponent Colgate, taking the game into double overtime and ending without a single point on either side of the scoreboard.
The 0-0 tie concluded the last regular season home game for the Eagles and also served as a recognition day for their two graduating players, senior goalkeeper Chris Sedlak and senior midfielder Jason Kuykendall.
Going into the game against Colgate, the Eagles knew they were going to have their best skills ready to play in such a difficult and vital game. As play went on however, it was clear that both sides of the team were prepared to give their all, resulting in a long, hard-played 0-0 tie.
“All of the Patriot League games are tough like that,” said head coach Todd West.
Both teams looked strong at the start of the game, and they kept the intensity level high for the entire 110 minutes of play. AU had a total of 13 attempts on goal, which was just shy of the 16 shots taken by Colgate. Sedlak was on target once again as he made a total of six saves to finish his college soccer career strong.
“It was an emotional game,” Sedlak said. “We would have liked to have come out of here with a win, but we played well. I’ve enjoyed my four years here and am glad it ended on a good note with a shutout.”
As a team filled with mostly younger players, the two seniors have stepped up and led the team to their current position.
“In the off-season, they are the hardest-working guys,” West said about the two graduating players. “They are the guys in the weight room, they are the guys showing up early, so we are going to miss that. But hopefully, the young guys have seen that and learned enough to bring it back to the team. Next year, we will have a veteran team.”
As the regular season comes to an end, every game becomes more important in determining the position with which the Eagles will enter the Patriot League championships. The Eagles play Bucknell next week.
“We are ahead of them on points,” West said. “The bottom line is, if we win next week, we are in. If we tie next week, we are in.”
The Eagles will play the last game of the regular season away at Bucknell Saturday. The game will be vital for AU and move them on to the semifinals in the Patriot League championship if they win.
The Eagles face a few challenges going into their last game of the season. Unlike Sunday, they will be away and unable to look to the cheering fans of AU for a push. The team is also trying to recover from injuries and unhealthy players that have shaken the usual lineup.
“We’ve got to get some guys healthy,” West said when asked about his concentration and focus for the game to come. “We had to mix some guys up and have them play in some positions they don’t normally play in. Luckily, they stepped up to the challenge and did well.”