by Abigail Hintz
The Cedarville men’s soccer team pulled out a thrilling 1-0 win in their Saturday night match against Malone University. The G-MAC competition was played amidst remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon, which brought some tough conditions to the Athletes In Action Sports Complex.
The Jackets came out with energy in the first half, with two chances and a corner kick in the first two minutes of play. Freshman Bryce Childers was active early in the match, creating several chances for the team. His efforts would later pay off as he assisted on the lone goal.
Cedarville controlled the first half overall, rarely allowing the Pioneers past midfield. Malone seemed to welcome the pressure, however, as they played very defensively and consistently clogged the box. This caused problems for the Jackets, and led to several turnovers. Head Coach Brett Faro said this was something they were prepared for.
“We knew that they were disciplined defensively and that they would play well together,” said Faro. “We knew it was going to be difficult to break them down.”
The second half held a switch of momentum to the side of the underdogs. Malone managed to shut down Cedarville’s persistent offense and create some chances of their own. They went from one shot in the first half to six in the second, matching the home side who had six in both halves.
In the 82nd minute, overtime seemed inevitable after several failed attempts by a loud, rallied Malone side. Goalkeeper Carter Selvius had made three diving saves in a short period of time, dampening the Pioneers’ intensity. Cedarville midfielder Sammy Kilimann, however, had other plans.
Kilimann explained his thoughts just prior to chipping the keeper from 20 yards out.
“I’m just going to shoot it,” Kilimann said after the game.
Kilimann’s defender was pulling on his jersey, which he considered using to get a free kick, but he took the chance and it paid off. It was a welcome sight for a team that had already been to double overtime in their last two games. This was Kilimann’s second goal of the season.
The Jackets’ midfield was key to the success of the team overall, with good ball distribution and quick transitions throughout the match. Led by junior Levi Haight and senior Derek Braak, the group created several turnovers in the Malone offense that led to counters for the home side.
Cedarville now looks to a rough part of their schedule with six away games in three weeks. Kilimann put it simply, saying, “We’ll take it one day at a time.”
“It’s going to be tough,” says Coach Faro. “We’re going to have to stick together and do our best to fight those games out.”
The Jackets (3-1-1) are back at home on Oct. 4 when they take on Lake Erie.