Cullowhee experienced its first taste of men’s club soccer last weekend as the Catamounts final match of the semester saw UNC Greensboro make the trip to WCU.
The achievement of the Cat’s first home game was a testament to the efforts of officers of the student run club and a note to all those interested that men’s soccer will be played at Cullowhee for the foreseeable future. In a match that offered much, on the field the Cat’s delivered little.
In a slightly reshaped line-up Western took to the field in high spirits but were soon on the back-foot as UNCG pressed for an early lead. As usual the Catamounts sturdy defense stood up to the task at hand and proved to be hard to score against. In a half of little consequence a special mention should go to Western goalkeeper Joel St. Vrain who shares time in goal and ends the semester with four shutouts in the five halves he has played.
The Western club president Klaas Van Oosterhout who shares the time in goal has not been so lucky and has often been on the receiving end, especially as Western Carolina tend to tire in the second half of games. This was the case again this weekend and if not for a number of quality saves the score would have been higher.
WCU’s frustration could clearly be seen in a fiery, bad tempered second half. In which both teams had a number of opportunities to get on the score sheet. The Catamounts once again failed to capitalize on their chances while UNCG buried theirs. They hit with three goals in dominating spell midway through the half in which Western’s midfield was over run.
However, good work throughout by a number of players especially Jason Weden, Christian Dudek and hussle from Bryan Piner always gave the Cats a chance to hit back. The majority of these chances came on the break, with Guillaume Craudier, Jermaine Jennings and Jonas Hellie in a rare raid into the opponents half coming the closest. Anthony Perrone did have the ball in the net after an exquisite finish from a quickly taken free kick only for it to be pulled back and retaken.
In his last game as player/coach, Mark Burgess was disappointed with his own performance and the final result 0-3. He said ” Its frustrating to see that we find it difficult to capitalize on our individual skills and gel as a team. We defend well but have trouble in transition and building the attack especially in second halves when we tire drastically.”
In only their first semester as a full-fledged club team, Western’s record stands at 3-3-1 and is a good building block for the new semester.
With a number of players finishing their time in Cullowhee, new president Josh Hydaker is on the lookout for new players. Anyone interested please call for more information at 293-1492.