BY GABE KAMINSKY
Sometimes, even a loss can spark something great.
The Big Red capitalized against a tough 7-2-2 DePauw University Men’s Soccer Team 1-0 on October 6 in Indiana.
The only goal in the game came from Luke Summers ‘21 at the 22-minute mark in the first half, assisted by Ryan Albers ‘20. It was Summers’ second goal of his sophomore campaign — his first came against Adrian College on September 7.
It was certainly a tightly contested game. In total, Denison outshot Depauw 8-7, with Denison goalie Dylan Brown ‘21 saving three of three shots on goal and DePauw senior Austin Bodener recording five of six.
After Summers’ goal, DePauw was visibly attempting to adjust their strategy, making five substitutions in eight minutes. Three minutes after scoring, the Big Red nearly took a 2-0 lead when Matt Rush ‘20 sailed the ball just over the net.
In the 29th minute, midfielder Oliver Shebek almost tied the game for DePauw, but he narrowly missed, sending the ball slightly wide. However, the Tigers did not have another shot for the remainder of the half.
The next half began at a very fast pace for Denison, with Summers ‘21 having two shots on Bodner at the 57 and 61-minute marks. After another near goal in the 65th minute by Leo Herard ‘22, DePauw once more adjusted. Ultimately, it was a strong Denison defensive outing which translated to offensive opportunities.
Learning from their previous game against a Kenyon team nationally ranked in the top-ten in Division III proved to be important for the Big Red.
“The biggest takeaway from the Kenyon game was that we can play with any team. Kenyon is one of the top teams in the country year in and year out, constantly competing for national championships. While we aren’t on that level quite yet, we definitely held our own. I think that gave our guys the confidence to go to Depauw and dictate the game,” defender David Jaben ‘19 said.
The 3-6-1 Big Red will look to surpass DePauw in the North Coast Athletic Conference standings during the coming week, as the Big Red are currently tied for fourth with the Tigers. Denison snapped DePauw’s six-match unbeaten streak.
Looking ahead, the Big Red will face division rivals at Oberlin (1-10) on Wednesday, October 10 and Wittenberg (6-6) on Saturday, October 13 at home.
Jaben ‘19 acknowledges how important gaining confidence during that game against Kenyon will be for the Big Red moving forward.
“In our upcoming games against Oberlin and Wittenberg, I believe our success will come from being able to nullify the opponent and impose our style of play. There will be some moments where the other team gains a foothold, but our ability to wrestle the game back will be crucial and the confidence we gained from the Kenyon game is key to this.”