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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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men’s club soccer pic

AU men’s club soccer slips, slides and grinds their way to win over UMD

Eagles battle tough field conditions in 1-0 victory

Being an athlete is already hard, but if there’s one thing that can make the job even harder, it’s dealing with poor field conditions. Despite the muddy conditions, over 70 spectators showed up on March 30 to watch the American University men's club soccer team take on the University of Maryland at the Massachusetts Avenue field. 

The field had big puddles near the corner flags, meanwhile, the whole pitch was muddy as players kept making slide tackles and slipping, their white jerseys were soon covered in dirt. 

Junior Captain Leon Bellenbaum said that the field conditions didn’t help the team, despite their 1-0 victory.  

“All the touches on the ball were a little bouncy and everything like that,” he said. 

It was a tightly contested first half with Maryland having a slight edge over American in chances, but the center-back pairing of Bellenbaum and Josh Palmer made sure to clear the danger through multiple well-timed tackles.

It was no surprise then that the only goal of the game wasn’t pretty. When AU took a corner from the left side, the ball remained bouncing inside the penalty area as UMD failed to clear it. The ball found its way to Palmer as he tucked it past the Terrapins. 

The Terrapins managed to close the half having almost tied the score twice as one shot rang off the goal post and after AU was bailed out by a bad back pass that managed to find the net, only to be ruled out for offside. 

The defensive pattern remained in the second half, only this time it was AU who had managed to carve out some more half chances. Yet again, AU’s collective defense managed to visibly frustrate some of the Terrapins’ players. On a day when the field conditions and the weather were against them, AU rose to the challenge and managed to get a clean sheet.

Bellenbaum praised his team’s ability to rise to the challenge again amidst issues from club sports not being able to use the turf fields. 

“We are not a big DI one school where they have turf fields. But I think that is what makes the win more special when we have these conditions and we’re still able to grind out against teams that have the turf fields,” Bellenbaum said. “When we stand together as a team, it’s really special because I think we’re one big family and we’ve been through a lot together.” 

This article was edited by Penelope Jennings, Delaney Hoke and Abigail Turner. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks and Ariana Kavoossi. 

Section 202 host Gabrielle and friends go over some sports that aren’t in the sports media spotlight often, and review some sports based on their difficulty to play. 

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