By Hunter Craighill
From the starting whistle at 7:00 p.m. at Pruitt Field on Tuesday, the Sewanee Men’s Soccer team out-played, out-hustled, and most importantly outscored the younger Huntington team for a final score of 5-0. Within the first 10 minutes of the match, Kyle Johnston (C’19) had netted two goals with assists from Alpo Sapila (C’20) and Ben Vaeth (C’20) respectively.
The first goal, scored in the fourth minute, came in the form of a beautiful header off of a flawless corner kick aimed perfectly for the strike, and the goal set the tone for the rest of the game. Sewanee refused to lay off the gas, even after a Huntington own-goal, stemming from the Tigers’ relentless attack led by Drew Zopler (C’22) headed into the half.
Two more goals came in the second half for the Tigers in the 60th and 70th minute. On the first of the two, Johnston passed across the box to a swooping Marco Randazzo (C’19), who took a controlling touch past a defender and blasted it home.
When asked about the goal, Randazzo said, “Kyle did all the work with the great ball he gave, all I had to do was pass it by the keeper.” The long time teammates and friends worked like clockwork all night, hammering shots on goal, totaling seven between the two of them.
The whole Tigers’ team combined for a whopping 15 shots on goal compared to Huntington’s two. That statistic alone reflects the level of dominance and offensive pressure Sewanee put on the opponent, keeping the ball on the offensive end of the pitch for what felt like 85-90 percent of the game. Every time the Huntington team pushed to break the midfield line, the midfielders and defenders were a brick wall and hustled to smoothly outwork and dispossess them. It was a clinic on redefending.
In the 70th minute, Severin Velasco (C’21) was able to find the back of the net unassisted, to bring the lead to 5-0, the score that would remain until the final whistle. If it is even possible, the game wasn’t as close as the score suggested, which says a lot considering the score was 5-0 blowout.
When asked about his dominant performance, Senior Captain Johnston remained humble, saying, “The way soccer works, the goalscorer gets way too much credit. We should be talking more about James Murray.”
Murray (C’21), the Sewanee goalkeeper, didn’t see too much action this time, as the defense held Huntington to only two shots, which as Johnston pointed out is “hard to do,” but Murray has played outstandingly in goal, stepping in for the injured Will Merriman (C’19), whose season sadly ended when he tore his ACL in the preseason.
The season is far from over for the rest of the Tigers, who will travel to Washington and Lee on Saturday, September 15 for a 12 p.m. kickoff. If they continue to play at this level, we should expect to see them late into the postseason.