DOMINIC HOSCHER | Reporter
On a rainy night at Hunter Stadium, the men’s soccer team looked to follow up the women’s 4-0 victory over Drury University with a win of their own, but as the rain fell, so did the Lions.
The Maryville Saints cruised over them by a score of 3-0.
“Our coaches told us to go in there, play our game, and do what we can,” junior Christopher Waldner said. “He gave us a couple of pointers on who to mark, but the rain wasn’t that much of a factor, it was more our team effort.”
The team got off to another slow start, as junior Rasmus Tauts bursted past a number of Lions defenders and blasted his shot from the top of the box into the bottom left corner of Lindenwood’s goal to give the visiting Saints a 1-0 advantage inside the first seven minutes of the contest.
Conceding early goals has been an issue in the last couple of games for the Lions. Another one given up against the Saints put the team in yet another hole before they could truly get comfortable in the game.
The goal started a flurry of attacks for both teams in the next 20 minutes of the match.
Forward Joshua Scholl gathered the Lions’ best chance of the first half, escaping from a Saints defender and delivering a sizzling strike just wide of the post. On the opposing side, Maryville’s JD Sohn created multiple opportunities down the right flank, sprinting and dazzling past Lindenwood defenders, giving the Saints open look after open look on goal.
The powerful Maryville runs would eventually lead to their second goal of the match. Junior Pontus Gitsleov got through Lindenwood’s defense, putting him in a one-on-one chance against keeper Tim Licht. Instead of taking the early shot, Gitsleov smartly pushed the ball past the keeper, giving him an easy empty net goal to extend Maryville’s lead to 2-0 over the Lions, which stayed intact heading into the halftime break.
“We still needed to play to win,” Waldner said. “Even if we’re down, we need to keep our heads straight and score the goal. We try not to think about it as coming back, but bringing the team even and going from there. Just one goal at a time.”
Maryville came out firing on all cylinders in the first 10 minutes of the next 45, with their best chance coming from Rasmus Tauts who was left all alone on the left side of the box, sending his shot just off the far post.
The Saints continued to pile up the pressure on Lindenwood’s backline, and finally found their third of the night a few moments later. With 26:18 left on the clock, Ricardo Andrade sent a low-driven cross into the middle that found a wide open Gitsleov, who knocked in his second goal of the game.
For the remainder of the second, it was all Maryville. The Lions failed to generate any lasting possessions or any true chances on goal, as the Saints held onto the ball for a majority of the half, long enough to end the match with the 3-0 win.
“We needed more faith,” freshman defender Luke McBeth said. “We lost the ball a lot strictly from our touches and passing, so once we get that sorted out we’ll become a much better team.”
The loss was Lindenwood’s second in a row, and were shut out for the second consecutive match. Now with a 1-2-1 record on the year, head coach Carl Hutter and the Lions will try to sort out their issues before their next match on Sunday at Christian Brothers University.