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Team jelling after slow start

Joe Amick

Issue date: 9/25/09 Section: Soccer
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On paper, 2009 looks like a rebuilding year for the Spartans. They graduated 10 players and five all-University Athletic Association players from last year's team. In the early going they looked the rebuilding part, starting the season with two losses and a tie.

"We've played well enough all year to win every game we've played. We've made some critical mistakes at key times. The reason for that is we're so young," coach Dan Palmer said.

But the Spartans have rebounded from the shaky start, winning four of their last five matches. And though they may be rebuilding on paper, lately, they haven't looked like a rebuilding team on the field.

"Losing 10 seniors was a big thing. I feel the last couple games we've calmed down and gelled as a team and that's contributed to our success," said sophomore defender Niro Wimalasena.

The latest example of results of the jelling was Tuesday's 1-0 win over Oberlin (4-2-1), which was keyed by a quality first half where the Spartans dominated much of the attack.

The Spartans (4-3-1, 0-0 UAA) were tested in defense towards the end of the first half.

They survived the test, took the momentum and took the lead shortly thereafter.

In the 39th minute, goalkeeper Ben Yabrow was pulled to the front of the goal box saving an Oberlin shot. The Yeomen regained possession while Yabrow was still on the ground. Their second strike was also unsuccessful because Wimalasena was positioned in the back of the goal box. Wimalasena blocked the shot.

"Usually once or twice a game I have to save one off the line," said Wimalasena. "I'm just anticipating where I have to go."

Four minutes later, forward Vinny Bell broke down the field and with two defenders trailing him, struck the game's only goal.

The Yeomen came out stronger in the second half and had their fair share of scoring opportunities. But the Yeomen's throw-ins and corner kicks tended to go behind or above the goal and their shots were either too wide or too high.

"They had the wind in the second half, but our backs did a good job keeping the play in front of them," said Palmer.

The Spartans had scoring opportunities in the 69th and 72nd minutes, when saves nearly slipped out of the hands of Oberlin goalkeeper Zach Lipshultz.

Case forward and Oberlin native Mikey Schmid lead the Spartans with three shots. The Spartans out-shot the Yeomen, 9-6. Yabrow finished the game with two saves.

The Spartans lost to Oberlin, 4-1, last year. Obviously, this was a much better performance.

"Our guys executed the game plan to near-perfection," said Palmer.

The Spartans notched another narrow win Saturday. They beat Westminster College, 2-1, in overtime. Senior midfielder Brian Evans struck the winning goal after drawing a penalty deep in the Westminster zone.

FYI

Who: Case vs. Heidelberg College

When: Sept. 26, 7 p.m.

Where: Tiffin, Ohio (at Heidelberg)

Comment: As of Tuesday, Heidelberg has scored six goals this season and opponents have scored six times against Heidelberg.
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In This Issue

News

  • Case EMS 'saves the day' at mass casualty drill
  • Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum to auction $1 million in cars
  • CWRU celebrates Constitution Day
  • Have you heard about women in liberal arts?
  • Reality star's "One-for-One" business model inspires mtvU to seek out "Movers & Shakers"
  • Sigma Nu fire ruled unintentional, sparks housing inspections
  • Speaker continues debate about legal drinking age
  • The new Kindle on campus: CWRU and Amazon partner to test the Kindle DX
  • Can you name this place?

Sports

  • Close wins on crooked river
  • Hard work paying off as conference play nears
  • Spartan Spotlight: Mike Vaughn
  • What if Browns were subject to a blackout?

Fun Page

  • Crossword Solution
  • Sudoku Solution

Opinion

  • Editorial: Doc Oc memorial needs identification, context
  • Genocide rape should be treated as weapon of mass destruction
  • Large debates over drinking age missing the point
  • Legalizing drugs: a practical solution
  • Lifestyle changes for a green campus
  • Observer fails to acknowledge event programmers
  • State your case: What do you do with your favorite textbook?

Focus

  • Case Swing Club dances the night away with jazz quartet
  • Finding ways around being broke
  • Hitting the Spot: The Jackie Warren Trio
  • Jolly Scholar hosts weekly live music for CWRU musicians
  • Overheard at Case
  • Phish herald triumphant return with Joy-ful new album
  • Rising alternative hip-hop artist Kid Cudi to headline UPB Fall Concert
  • Shoes: strut your way to comfortable, fashion-forward style
  • The Buzz
  • The latest independent release roundup
  • Zombies take over Lakewood for bi-annual Cleveland Charity Zombie Walk

Cross Country

  • Simpson gets win at Calvin

Football

  • Spartans jump out to 41-0 lead against Yeomen, improve to 3-0

Sex and Dating

  • Handling the aftermath

Soccer

  • Spartans come out fast, but Lions escape with win
  • Team jelling after slow start

Worst Case Scenario

  • The Worst Case Scenario
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