Eagles fall to Santa Clara in their first loss of the season

Men’s soccer couldn’t overcome the Broncos’ staunch defense

Eagles fall to Santa Clara in their first loss of the season
#9 Max Wright with the ball against the Santa Clara Broncos

The Eagles fell to the Santa Clara Broncos 1-0 in their second game of the season, in a contest devoid of offense. 

Defense dominated the Sept. 3 game in the first half as both teams went scoreless, while in the second half both teams turned their offensive pressure up. Ultimately, only the Broncos could punch in a goal.

“I think we lacked some energy early on,” head coach Zach Samol said. “We were playing soccer in the wrong part of the field. … I think that’s the biggest thing and one of the things that we will take away from the game just is who are we and what do we wanna be.”

The Eagles defense held firm in the first half of the game, only allowing five shots. However, American University’s offense was stifled by the Broncos’ defense, unable to attempt a single shot in the entire first half as a result.

“If you are thinking about it overall from a defending standpoint I think we do fine,” Samol said. “It’s one real chance [to score], I think the other chances are really on our turnovers in the first half.”

The Broncos started the second half aggressively, immediately going on the offensive that culminated in a goal in the 48th minute from Broncos senior forward Oladayo Thomas, assisted by freshman defender Tyrone Kirunda.

The Eagles tried to respond with aggression for the rest of the half with three shots and three corners in their attempt to tie the game. Despite playing with urgency and pushing the pace of the game, the Eagles couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities as the Broncos’ defense only allowed one shot on goal.

“Obviously getting humbled and losing a game is always gonna push you to be better,” sophomore midfielder and team co-captain Evan Schweickert said. “I think the main thing is that we gotta learn from this game. So we are going to go and watch some film, make sure we know what we need to improve on — look at the things we did well and make sure we duplicate them in the next game.”

The Eagles will look to bounce back with a win against the Penn State Nittany Lions at University Park tonight at 7 p.m. ET.


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