Men’s soccer: Nationally-ranked Wheaton blanks Aurora
By Bill Kindt For Sun-Times Media October 18, 2012 5:48PM
Aurora University's Kory Seddon blocks a Wheaton College corner kick on Thursday. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 20, 2012 11:06AM
When you fail to score it is impossible to win.
Failing to pressure the other team is generally a pathway to a defeat.
That’s exactly what happened to Aurora University’s men’s soccer team in a 3-0 loss to nationally-ranked (No. 23) Wheaton at Vago Field Thursday.
In 90 minutes of play, the Spartans (10-5-1) failed to place even one shot on Thunder goalie Derek Babb.
“And they played their reserve goalkeeper. I thought he did a good job of directing traffic in front on him but we have to do a better job of attacking,” AU coach Amir St. Clair said.
Despite the lack of offense, the Spartans battled the Thunder to a 0-0 halftime standoff. That was largely due to the play of Ethan Cashen in the goal. He saved six Thunder shots.
Even so, the Thunder (11-3-2) controlled the play from start to finish.
“I don’t think we ever got into a rhythm,” St. Clair said. “We didn’t execute the plan we had. I thought we played an average first half so we had some confidence going into the locker room that we could play poorly and still be 0-0 with a nationally-ranked team.”
Any confidence AU might have had ended when the Thunder broke through on a goal by Kevin Skinker, his first of the year, at the 52:30 mark.
Skinker dribbled the ball past two AU defenders and beat Cashen, who was screened, to the left corner.
It got worse after that.
“That killer instinct, we haven’t really developed that yet,” St. Clair said. “We don’t have that drive, that fire, that even though we’re down a goal we have the ability to come back.”
Wheaton’s Marshall Hollingsworth made it 2-0 when he scored from 25 yards out and Chad Musgraves knocked in a finishing goal against AU reserve goalie Nick Sloan at 87:37.
Perhaps AU’s best scoring opportunity came with seven minutes remaining when Colby Newquist found himself open to the right of Babb but his hurried kick went high and wide.
“Going into the final two games and the conference (Northern Athletics) tournament we can hopefully put the pieces together and be more consistent,” St. Clair said. “We have to go back to the drawing board and figure some things out.”